Patriot Greenville Campus, Greenville, SC
Royal Bank of Canada
348,442 Sq. Ft.
For over 50 years, Liberty Life Insurance Company maintained its headquarters on a 28.8 acre campus in Greenville, SC. As business grew, Liberty Life expanded the site’s facilities four times from 1954-1984, to its current 348,442 square feet in three office buildings. When the company was acquired by Royal Bank of Canada in 2000, RBC immediately sold off Liberty Life’s claims handling business to IBM. IBM then leased back the two office buildings on the campus which housed these business units.
The newly formed RBC Liberty Insurance, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada, had no need to own the headquarters site and wanted to become tenant at the property. The company needed a buyer that would acquire the property in its entirety and offer a flexible leaseback structure designed for a mid-term regional location.
Additionally, the asset’s location in a secondary market created a challenge for successful disposition. This factor coupled with RBC’s operational objectives made selecting the right buyer of prime importance in maximizing value and ensuring efficiency in the transaction.
The Patriot development team crafted an acquisition plan that successfully enabled the seamless disposition of the property over a 3-month period.
With mid-term leasebacks to RBC and IBM, operations continued on undisturbed, and both companies transparently gained a new landlord. RBC and IBM retained loyal and experienced work forces and were spared costly relocation expenses. By remaining in Greenville, RBC left the community’s employment base intact and ensured a continued positive legacy as a corporate citizen. Most importantly, RBC’s Senior Management team was now free to focus their time, energy, and resources on core competencies keeping their business, and not their corporate real estate, running.
This transaction resulted in 90% of the campus being leased to RBC and IBM for seven and five years respectively. RBC Liberty Life currently occupies 144,187 rentable square feet in a four-story office building; IBM I & II remain in 204,255 rentable square feet in a three and four-story office building. The property’s location and a growing local demand in the area for Class A office space will allow for a value-add opportunity upon lease rollover. In the end, Greenville maintained a long-term corporate citizen and RBC and IBM gained the lease terms they desired.