The Right of Acquisition: Options in Commercial Real Estate
In April 2012 Bill Nichols, a financial analyst at the real estate investment firm Koenig Capital, was about to enter a unique lease renegotiation. One of Koenig’s tenants, Hasperat Inc., had sixteen years left on its long-term lease of the Kelley Building, a 165,000-square-foot office building in downtown Cleveland. The lease contained a clause giving Hasperat the option to buy the Kelley Building from Koenig. When Nichols tried to place a mortgage on the property to take advantage of low interest rates, he learned that the existence of this option in the lease contract prevented lenders from offering Koenig their lowest rates. As a result, Nichols had been tasked with renegotiating the lease to remove the option clause. This unexpected event offered Nichols the opportunity to use his financial skills. He needed to calculate the fair value of the purchase option to be able to justify to his superiors by how much they should compensate Hasperat. Students will step into the role of Bill Nichols and apply real options modeling techniques to value the purchase option in Hasperat’s lease.