A Daytona Beach, Fla., real estate investment trust has bought the 137,000-square-foot First Interstate Plaza building in downtown Santa Fe for $16.3 million.

CTO Realty Growth Inc. closed on the purchase Monday from First Interstate Plaza Crow Holdings.

First Interstate Plaza is the largest private sector office building in Santa Fe, said James Wheeler, owner of the Commercial Properties real estate firm in Santa Fe.

“I can’t think of any bigger,” Wheeler said.

The four-story, mixed-use building will be the new home of The New Mexican early next year. Other tenants include Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, The Bull Ring, Regus, Avalon Trust Co., Raymond James and Toyopolis.

CTO reports the building is only 66 percent occupied, which is appealing for building owners confident of being able to turn around properties with large vacancies and increase the property value.



“Our acquisition in Santa Fe is a unique situation where we are able to opportunistically acquire an extremely well-located property with immediate repositioning upside in a dynamic market with attractive growth prospects,” John P. Albright, president and CEO of CTO Realty Growth, said in a news release.

CTO also owns the Fidelity office building in Albuquerque, Crossroads Towne Center in Chandler, Ariz., and the Carpenter Hotel in Austin, Texas.

But most of its holdings are in Florida.

“Santa Fe has several distinct economic and lifestyle demand drivers that have driven outsized growth for the market in recent years,” Albright said. “We’re optimistic the strength of the market and our repositioning plan for the property can drive outsized risk-adjusted returns for our investors once the asset is stabilized.”

First Interstate Plaza has a 9,000-square-foot vacancy that CTO envisions for potential residential customers as well as a 12,500-square-foot vacancy that could become a restaurant. Tai Bixby of NAI Sunvista is the leasing agent. Colliers is the property manager.

CTO Realty Growth owns 19 commercial properties with a combined 2.4 million square feet in high-growth markets in several states, according to the company website.

(12) comments

Emily Koyama

High rents in that building. I guess we know why the New Mexican needed to jack up subscription rates yet again. What are we at now, about a 40% increase in five years?

Steve Martinez

I remember when this building was built, it was considered to be the most ugly building in Santa Fe.

Russell Scanlon

Where is this building? What is the address?

Russell Scanlon

I don’t accept the standard conservative line about “liberal bias” in journalism. First: There are plenty of news outlets available to cross check stories. Second: You can blame Rupert Murdoch for introducing us to TV news with a clearly stated conservative bias—in fact it’s not really news and they have already been guilty of spreading lies and information about “Stop the Steal” and COVID. Basically FOX news is the propaganda arm of the Republican Party. Third: Journalists make mistakes and the only news source that I have personally seen that has published retractions and apologies is The NY Times.

Is it possible that, as the old saying goes, truth has a liberal bias? Is it possible that “fake news” is just news you don’t agree with? There are now over 800.000 people dead from a virus that Sean Hannity called a “Democratic hoax”—although he now denies saying that even though it was broadcast on television.

Emily Koyama

Keep drinkin' that blue kool-aid, Russell.

Russell Scanlon

And keep posting vapid responses that don’t reveal anything except your bottomless resentment of things you don’t understand.

Michael Odza

Question: What will happen to the old, renovated Santa Fe New Mexican building on Marcy?

Donald Apodaca

Good morning Mr. Reinders, are you aware that the 'New Mexican' plant prints the Albuquerque, Journal. Google: 'New Mexican' plant will print 'Albuquerque, Journal. I have heard from a reliable source that Brian Ballard, lobbying and PR firm is looking to open up shop in the "City Different." Looks like New Mexico will be turning into a purple State in time for the next Presidential election.

Richard Reinders

Printing and editing is two different things.

Donald Apodaca

I predict that the Santa Fe New Mexican makes the Albuquerque Journal an offer it wont refuse. Floridians have their feet in the door I forse them making moves in 2022 to own the Journal and the New Mexican. Doing so will allow them to CONTROL the narritive. Influence voters and turn New Mexico from BLUE to RED in less than a decade.

Donald Apodaca

It's a breath of fresh air to see a publicly traded company from Florida see the potential of the Santa Fe Plaza. John Albright, President and Chief Executive officer is a genius for bringing in a tenant like the Santa Fe New Mexican. It's time to BUY CTO (NYSE) $58.59 +1.30 (+2,26%). The Santa Fe New Mexican has made some bold moves in 2021. Would be nice to see them BUY The Albuquerque Journal in 2022.

Richard Reinders

We have enough censorship and bias in this paper, it is nice to go to Abq Journal to see what else is happening in N.M. and the country without political or ideological bias. A new owner like The New Mexican would narrow the view of what’s happening. Just like national news outlets they have become political and only give you their view. Journalism use to be politically neutral, those days are long gone.

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