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SSR Realty Advisors acquires $1.7 billion in GE assets

SSR Realty Advisors, a real estate advisory firm, has added $1.7 billion in assets with the acquisition of GE Capital Investment Advisors (GECIA), a pension fund real estate management business affiliated with Stamford, Conn.-based GE Capital Real Estate. With the acquisition, White Plains, N.Y.-based SSR Realty boosted its total assets under management to $5 billion.

“GECIA concentrated its business in the core separate account business,” said Thomas Lydon, president and CEO of SSR Realty. “That was a business where we had wanted to expand.” Lydon said GECIA was attractive to the company because core separate accounts, which include the four main property types — multifamily, office, retail and industrial — attract a large chunk of pension fund investment.

The company gained the GECIA real estate investment staff, which has extensive experience in core separate accounts. Jill Hatton, GECIA's president and CEO, was named a managing director of SSR Realty, and she currently is running the firm's new Boston office.

Ivy Equities buys a Paragon of an office building in N.J.

Clifton, N.J.-based Ivy Equities, a real estate investment group, will soon relocate its corporate offices to One Paragon Drive, a 106,877 sq. ft. Class-A office building in Montvale, N.J., that it purchased from Reckson Associates Realty Corp., a Melville, N.Y.-based REIT.

The CB Richard Ellis Tri-State investment team comprised of Jeff Dunne, Chris McManus and Kevin Walsh represented Reckson in the property sale. The sale price of the property was not disclosed.

“We had about eight offers on the property, including institutional investors such as pension funds, 1031 tax-deferred exchange buyers and private companies like Ivy Equities,” said Jeff Dunne, the Tri-State investment team leader. He explained that the main reason for the interest in the property is the appeal of the Montvale, N.J. area, which features international and U.S. headquarters of companies such as A&P, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Sony Electronics. Dunne said Ivy Equities pinpointed the property as a possible site to relocate its company headquarters. The company will move into 5,000 sq. ft. of the building's vacant space. At the time of the sale, the building was 88% leased.

Lend Lease US Office Trust acquires One Liberty Square

Lend Lease US Office Trust's acquisition of One Liberty Square, a 157,585 sq. ft. Class-A, 13-story office tower in Boston is the company's first entrance into one of the company's target U.S. markets. The Australia-based trust's leadership considers Boston to be one of the “gateway” cities in the U.S. and anticipates long-term growth performance.

The trust acquired One Liberty Square, located in Boston's financial district, from One Liberty Square Associates. The office building was constructed in 1926, completely renovated in 1981 and underwent a facade restoration in 1994.

Lend Lease US Office Trust is the first Australian-listed property trust specializing in U.S. office real estate assets.

“Green” tower in New York gets $115 million in financing

Garden City, N.Y.-based Albanese Development Group is building a “green” residential tower in Manhattan's Battery Park City. Ackman-Ziff Chazen Realty Advisors in New York arranged the $115 million multifamily unit's equity financing.

Twenty River Terrace is an environmentally friendly 280-unit, luxury rental apartment building. The “green” building includes built-in photovoltaic window wall panels (solar panels that generate electricity for the building), reduced air infiltration and a high percentage of recycled and recyclable materials.

Cooper Realty Investments buys Memphis offices

Cooper Realty Investments isn't singing the blues after purchasing two prominent office properties in Memphis, Tenn. The Bella Vista, Ark.-based real estate investment company purchased Forum 1 and Crescent Center from Irving, Texas-based Archon Group for a total of $54.9 million — $15.7 million for Forum 1 and $39.2 million for Crescent Center. According to the Memphis office of CB Richard Ellis, this sale is the largest office transaction in the city's history.

Forum 1 is a 162,800 sq. ft. office building located at 6750 Poplar Ave., while Crescent Center is a 335,700 sq. ft. office building at 6075 Poplar Ave.

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AEGON USA Realty Advisors forms capital market group.

To enhance the liquidity and risk/return profile of Baltimore-based AEGON USA's real estate portfolios, AEGON USA Realty Advisors has established a new business unit, the Capital Markets Group. This group will be responsible for exploring, designing and executing structured finance transactions.

More specifically, the Capital Markets Group will seek opportunities to securitize seasoned assets, establish vehicles for structuring new assets, and invest in alternative debt and equity asset classes.

The Capital Market Group is under the leadership of Robert Clark, vice president; Neil Madsen, director; and Christian Fong, associate.

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