Office News

National, international activity ongoing for Greenwich Group International real estate investment banking firm the Greenwich Group International LLC (GGI) of New York has structured and placed equity totaling more than $500 million for several properties in France.

GGI arranged funding for more than 2.5 million sq. ft. of property in France on behalf of HRO International. The Paris headquarters of Commercial Union Insurance, Renault, and a large property in La Defense known as Tour Septentrion are among the properties included. A major U.S.-based fund provided the equity.

Closer to home in Los Angeles, GGI has negotiated the sale of HMS Office L.P.'s Wilshire Landmark II Tower, located in the Brentwood submarket. Douglas Emmett Realty Advisors, a Brentwood-based institutional investor, was the buyer.

Arden Realty acquires Southern California office/R&D portfolio Arden Realty Inc., based in Beverly Hills, Calif., has entered into a contract to acquire a 5.2 million sq. ft. portfolio of office and R&D/industrial properties located throughout Southern California from AEW/LBA Acquisition Co. for a purchase price of $614.5 million. Warrants to purchase 2.5 million shares of Arden common stock will be issued at closing. The seller is a venture between AEW Partners L.P. and Layton-Belling and Associates.

The portfolio includes 34 office properties containing approximately 3.6 million sq. ft., 15 R&D facilities containing 1.5 million sq. ft. and one retail center containing 144,225 sq. ft.

With the purchase of this portfolio, Arden will own 125 properties totaling approximately 16.1 million sq. ft. The transaction is expected to close by the end of first quarter 1998.

Sylvan Lawrence sells last of its holdings in record cash deal Sloughing off the vestiges of its portfolio, New York-based Sylvan Lawrence Co. Inc. has sold four Manhattan buildings comprising 3.3 million sq. ft. to Blackacre Office Holdings LLC for $387.5 million, which may rank the transaction as the largest all-cash sale of Manhattan real estate to date.

Blackacre, a real estate institutional investment firm, is affiliated with Cerberus Partners L.P., a New York-based securities hedge fund.

The buildings include 111 Eighth Avenue, 100 William Street and 95 and 99 Wall Street.

VOA Associates to design office tower in Dominican Republic VOA Associates Inc. will provide architectural shell and core design services for The Acropolis, a 23-story, $50 million office and retail complex in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. CitiBank will anchor the building, which will contain 278,300 sq. ft. of office space, 405,500 sq. ft. of retail and a 350,000 sq. ft. parking area.

Renaissance Development Corp., based in Santo Domingo, is developing The Acropolis. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 1998, with completion scheduled for October 1999.

VOA was founded concurrently in Orlando, Fla., and Chicago in 1969.

Koll acquires site for mixed-use Scottsdale, Ariz., development A joint venture comprising Southwest Value Partners and Koll Real Estate Group has acquired a 23-acre site in Scottsdale where construction of Lincoln Towne Centre is under way. When complete, Lincoln Towne Centre will comprise 680,000 sq. ft. of Class-A office space, a 160-room Summerfield Suites, a 128-room Prime AmeriSuites and a 200-room Hilton Gardens hotel.

Phase one of the mixed-use development is valued at $39 million and will include two five-story office buildings totaling 251,000 sq. ft., as well as a four-level below-grade parking structure. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., based in Fort Wayne, Ind., has purchased phase one, which is scheduled for completion in January 1999.

Financing for Lincoln Towne Centre was arranged through Bank One by Koll Capital.

The Phoenix office of Grubb & Ellis will lease the office component of Lincoln Towne Centre and will market the property's retail components.

CCM3 Architects Ltd. is the project architect. Cohen Contracting Inc. is general contractor. Both companies are based in Phoenix.

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