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Gov’t selling another property, World Plaza Building in Hato Rey, for $28M

The iconic 22-story World Plaza building in Hato Rey is up for sale, with an initial asking price of $28 million, this media outlet confirmed.

The property belongs to the
Infrastructure Financing Authority, a government entity that picked up the
asset from the Federal Deposit Insurance Co. in 2014, four years after former
owner Westernbank was shut down.

Formerly known as the Banco de
Ponce building, the half-moon shaped structure anchors the Golden Mile banking
district in Hato Rey. In all, the building comprises some 364,000 square-feet
of space, and is about 85 percent occupied, according to the property listing
on Christiansen Commercial Real Estate’s website.

Many of those tenants are
government agencies, including the Courts Administration, the Infrastructure
Financing Authority, and the Puerto Rico Planning Board, among others.

“Initially designed to enhance
the image of one of the most important banks in Puerto Rico, the identifiable
curved structure stands taller than any other building in the central business
district,” according to the property description.

This media outlet learned that
the property was recently listed, and there are no formal sales offerings yet.
The firm is not proactively marketing the property as it is still drafting a “non-disclosure
agreement” for potential buyers to sign before going through the qualification

The property built in 1974 features
a multi-level parking garage for 1,371 vehicles, and an outdoor retail plaza,
among other amenities. It is strategically located in close proximity to the
Plaza Las Américas shopping center, the Coliseo de Puerto Rico and one of the
Urban Train station stops.

This is the latest property
that the Puerto Rico government has put on the block in the past year, when it
sold the former Sagrado Corazón parking lot in Santurce, a housing community in
Bayamón, and the former “Sears property” in Hato Rey, as this media outlet
reported exclusively.

The World Plaza Building’s
price responds to a property appraisal done in January of this year, a source
who spoke on the condition of anonymity said. To move the property, the listing
includes a number of economic incentives from the federal and local government
available to the buyers, including:

  • New Market Tax Credits (NMTC);

  • Community Development Block Grant Programs (CDGB);
  • Designated Opportunity Zone Funds;
  • EB-5 – Immigration Investor Program;

  • Act 20 – Export Services;
  • Act 22 – Individual Investors;
  • Act 73 – Economic Incentives for the Development of
    Puerto Rico; and,
  • Act 273 – International Financial Center Regulatory

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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