Sale/Acquisition of the Year
Sam Carroll, SIOR & Matt Gilchrist, SIOR

The Former Daniel Building Sale

The University of Alabama at Birmingham's acquisition of the former Daniel Building, a 19-story, 300,000 SF office tower, was one of the most significant deals in Birmingham last year. Located between Downtown and the Southside/Medical district, the former Daniel Building is one of the tallest in Birmingham outside the city's central business district.

The $16 million sale and the expansion of the university earned the deal a 2024 CoStar Impact Award for the sale/acquisition of the year, as judged by local real estate professionals familiar with the market.

Built in 1970 as the regional offices of Daniel International, which included its real estate division, Daniel Realty, the office tower was acquired by Compass Bancshares in 1993, which was later acquired by BBVA to become BBVA Compass. PNC Bank acquired BBVA Compass in 2021, becoming the fifth-largest bank in the United States, and inherited the office property as part of the acquisition.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will be the building's owner-user. UAB is the city's largest employer, and the tower is near the school's existing infrastructure.  They plan to move the back-office personnel, accounting, and HR departments to the tower from the various medical buildings these departments currently occupy, which will create open space for expansion. It also reiterates the impact UAB Medicine has on the city, and their investment in a significant amount of square footage means its current workface remains within the UAB footprint as well as having additional room for future employees.

What the Judges Said: "The Former Daniel Building not only set a precedent for the innovative reuse of vacant office space in a challenging market but also significantly impacts the local community by expanding UAB Medicine's footprint.  The comprehensive benefits to the community, the healthcare system, and the local real estate market highlight the transaction's exceptional value and alignment with the award's criteria."

Lease of the Year for Birmingham

Ogden Deaton, SIOR

University of Montevallo STEM Initiative’s New Lease

Calera Commerce Park (CCP), a 216,000 SF, Class A Industrial Facility, broke ground in 1Q 2022 and was fully leased by 3Q 2023.  Located in Shelby County, which is a southern Industrial submarket of the Birmingham MSA, along the northside of I-65, the building has excellent interstate access and visibility.  At the time construction began, the Southern industrial submarket had a total of 3.9m SF and an occupancy rate of 91.4%.

University of Montevallo/AMSTI is the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI), which is the Alabama Department of Education’s initiative to improve math and science teaching statewide. Its mission is to support Alabama educators and students in learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through doing STEM.  AMSTI has 10 regional sites within the state and each site is affiliated with a state college/higher learning institution.  This site needed to remain in a central location but move closer to the University of Montevallo.  Calera Commerce Park is 7 miles from campus, which enabled AMSTI’s personnel to move on campus and have the warehouse space easily available, as well as remaining an accessible distribution hub.   The roughly 54,000-square-foot lease was signed in August and is for 10 years.

What the Judges Said: "The short lease-up period indicates continued demand for Class A industrial product in both the South submarket and overall Birmingham market. Additionally, AMSTI's commitment to advancing STEM education is an investment that will impact the state for decades to come."