HFF senior managing director Chris Drew, director Maxx Carney and associate Matthew McCormack, all in Miami.

An HFF team in Miami secured $13.6 million for the purchase and improvement of an industrial and office property in Central Florida.

The Innovation Center in Lake Mary is a 565,927-square-foot, Class A warehouse in the city’s high-technology corridor east of Interstate 4.

A joint venture of IP Capital Partners LLC, a Boca Raton-based real estate investment and management company, and Blue Vista Capital Management, a Chicago-based real estate investment company, bought the bulk warehouse space in an off-market transaction. Now, it plans to renovate the building, which includes office improvements and subdividing the industrial space, according to HFF.

The purchase and $13.6 million floating-rate loan both closed June 14 on the property at 2452 Lake Emma Road.

“The way the building is configured now is it’s one large warehouse but it does have a number of different tenants. In order to put additional tenants into the property, they are going to want to put up walls to separate that space,” said Maxx Carney, an HFF director in Miami.

Carney represented the IP Capital and Blue Vista joint venture along with senior managing director Chris Drew and associate Matthew McCormack, also in Miami.

Loan proceeds also will be used for leasing commissions and tenant improvements, Carney said.

Occupancy was 40 percent when the deal closed. The high vacancy rate made this a value-add opportunity for the buyer but at the same time narrowed the pool of potential lenders.

“It changed the universe of lenders that were able to play on the deal,” Carney said. “There’s a specific subset in the lending community that focuses more on these value-add and turnaround situations. … The fact that the building is only 40 percent leased given the in-place cash flow really dictated who that lender needed to be, a specialty lender.”

NXT Capital, a Chicago-based middle-market lender that services real estate investors, issued the loan. It focuses on value-add opportunities like the Lake Mary warehouse.

What helped secure the loan was the buyers’ track record, Carney said.

“I think the sponsorship here between IP Capital and Blue Vista speaks for itself … in terms of the case studies they can put in front of potential lenders to say, ‘The proof is in the pudding. Here’s all the different industrial turnarounds I have done,’ ” Carney said. “ You have real powerhouse ownership on the deal so that certainly got folks … over the occupancy hurdle very easily.”

The asset, with high ceilings of 22 to 34 feet and 50 dock-high floors, lends itself well to being a distribution center, said Carney, although he didn’t have names of potential new tenants.

In the Seminole County community north of Orlando, the industrial market is strong, Carney added.

“Throughout the country industrial is considered one of the strongest asset classes, in particular in the state of Florida. Orlando and Lake Mary … also are very strong industrial markets,” he said. “There’s a lot of institutional ownership in that submarket as well, strong similarities in terms of what you see in Miami and the types of capital attracted to the area.”