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Ex-housing fund building up for auction

Charleston, W.Va. -- Goldman Associates Inc. will auction the former West Virginia Housing Development Fund building on Aug. 1.

Todd Goldman, of Goldman Associates, said several people have expressed interest in the building owned by the Housing Development Fund at 814 Virginia St. E.

Howard Swint, associate broker with WV Commercial Real Estate LLC, said available Class A office space in Charleston is near full capacity making Class B office space like the former West Virginia Housing Development building potentially more attractive.

Class A office space is the most prestigious office space in a particular market, but the designation is largely subjective in nature, Swint said. Most Class A office spaces have modern fire and safety equipment, on-site parking, 24-hour security and a prestigious tenant mix that combine to produce the highest yielding lease rates, Swint said.

"When Class A nears effective full occupancy, we have seen in the past a spill over to Class B in demand," Swint said.

Goldman sees the four-story building located in the central business district as versatile with the potential for one or multiple occupants.

"You always have the issue of trying to match the right space with the right client," he said.

Charleston has six downtown high-rise Class A office space towers, including Chase Tower, BB&T Square, United Center, Huntington Square, Laidley Tower and City Center West.

According to a first-quarter survey prepared by Swint, Class A office space collectively has a 3.4 percent vacancy rate in Charleston.

Jay Goldman, of Goldman Associates, expects the building to sell for more than the minimum.

Jay Goldman, a former Charleston mayor, said the building is a great opportunity for someone who has been looking to purchase office space.

"They will get that same sensation of being near the hub of activity," he said.

Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.cook@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.


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