Watumull Properties buys former Hawaii State Farm building for $10M

Original Article

Watumull Properties Corp. recently purchased the State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. office building in the Mililani Technology Park for $10 million.

The sale of the building on 3.5 acres at 400 Kahelu Ave. closed on June 16.

The 38,491-square-foot, two-story office building built by State Farm in 1996 includes a 4,000-square-foot garage that the insurer used for inspecting auto insurance claims. The property also has 185 surface parking stalls.

Joe Haas, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield ChaneyBrooks, and Andy Starn, senior vice president of the firm, represented the seller, with advisory service provided by Chris Heller, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Occupier Services Group in Tampa, Florida.

“The lack of office space in the submarket, especially in Mililani Tech Park, and the high parking stall count, makes this property desirable for large office users,” Starn said in a statement. “The property is well maintained and is move-in ready for a tenant under the new ownership.”

Haas said State Farm sold the building because it had become “technologically obsolete for their business” in an age when most claims and inspections are submitted via email and texts using smartphones.

The building was on the market for two years, and because it’s such a large space — with few owner-users in the Honolulu market — Haas and his team opted to market it to an investor while at the same time marketing the property for lease.

After securing the tenant — whom Haas declined to name — the deal to Watumull Properties was done.

Haas also credited the assistance from Heller of the Cushman & Wakefield national team.

“We were very creative in how we approached the market,” he said. “We pre-negotiated a sale price and then we went out to market for a tenant.”