Broward property manager Crown Property has announced a $1.2 billion bid to buy the Browards Broward Courthouse, a state and federal building with a $8-million annual revenue and an estimated $5.3 million budget surplus.
The sale, which will take place next month, will be the second time in two months that Crown has offered to buy Broward, which has the third-largest number of government buildings in the country behind New York City and Washington, D.C.
Crown has been exploring the acquisition for years, and in 2015 announced that it was working on a potential deal.
But the sale could give it a powerful leverage to influence state and local politics, particularly in Florida, where Broward is one of the most conservative jurisdictions in the United States.
The sale is expected to close next month.CPM said it wanted to be sure that its bid was a true value for the building and for the state and the city.
“We believe the purchase of the Browerard Courthouses assets is a fair value for Broward and the Browar County taxpayers,” said CPM’s chairman, Steve Loughran.
“Our commitment to Broward as a great place to live, work, play and raise a family has been strong, and we are committed to maintaining this long-term legacy for generations to come.”CPM has been aggressively buying properties in Broward since it became the state’s largest property manager in 2011, taking a $2 billion stake in Browards-based property management company, Crown Property Group.
But Crown has struggled to match its price to the revenue and budget surplus it needs to keep up with the rising cost of building and maintaining the state-of-the-art building.
The Broward courthouse’s annual revenue is projected to rise from $3.3 billion in 2017 to $8.9 billion in 2020, but the budget deficit for 2018 is projected at $2.6 billion.
In the last two years, Crown has faced a wave of criticism over its budget practices, with Broward voters passing a ballot initiative in 2016 to end Crown’s $5 billion budget surplus over 10 years.
Croy, the largest private employer in Browas-area Broward for the past 35 years, has said it plans to close the courthouse in 2020 and relocate to a new building.
It has said that the $1-billion price tag would be less than the amount of tax revenue that it would have generated with a private company.
The new Broward building will be nearly 10 times bigger than the current building, and will have about 40,000 square feet of space.
The state has already agreed to spend $5 million on renovations and additional space in the building.
Condon said the new building will have a “great deal of character,” and will serve as “a symbol of the new and vibrant Broward”.
“We’re looking forward to creating a place where the residents of Broward will be proud to call home,” he said.