NGKF Capital Markets has successfully completed the $673 million sale of 10 St. James & 75 Arlington in the exclusive Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts to Mori Trust, marking the Tokyo, Japan-based firm’s first acquisition in the United States. The NGKF Capital Markets Boston team led by U.S. Head of Capital Markets Robert Griffin, Vice Chairman Edward Maher and Executive Managing Director Matthew Pullen, in conjunction with NGKF Capital Markets Senior Managing Director Alex Foshay and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank leasing specialists William Anderson, executive managing director, and David Martel, executive managing director, oversaw the transaction of the trophy 824,772-square-foot urban mixed-use asset on behalf of Liberty Mutual Insurance.
“Comprising two iconic buildings and an associated below-grade parking garage within global insurance giant Liberty Mutual’s Boston headquarters campus, 10 St. James & 75 Arlington represents an exceptional asset for Mori Trust’s first investment in the United States market,” said Executive Managing Director Matthew Pullen. “Furthermore, this sale underscores the influx of foreign capital to the United States and Boston in particular, as it is one of many recent foreign buyer transactions executed by our team.”
In fact, the NGKF Capital Markets Boston team has overseen 19 office transactions totaling more than $6 billion in foreign capital since 2014 alone. This figure represents more than 45 percent of the team’s overall office sales volume during the same period. Encompassing 34 assets, these foreign capital transactions comprise a total of more than nine million square feet.
Aside from 10 St. James & 75 Arlington, recent international highlights include NGKF Capital Markets’ sale of 101 Seaport, an iconic 439,058-square-foot office tower in Boston’s Seaport District, to Hamburg, Germany-based Union Investment Real Estate GmbH for $452 million. At $1,029 per square foot, this transaction also set the record for one of the highest per-square-foot values ever achieved for a Boston office building. Additionally, NGKF Capital Markets sold 101 Tremont Street, a newly-renovated 79,147-square-foot “creative core” asset in Downtown Boston, to Munich, Germany-based GLL Real Estate Partners for $50.15 million. At $634 per square foot, this transaction also set the record for the highest per-square-foot value achieved for a Class B office asset in Downtown Boston in 2016.
“In a clear testament to our unmatched understanding of foreign capital and its unique drivers, our team introduced both of these buyers to the United States market - Union with its acquisition of Converse Boston @ Lovejoy Wharf earlier in 2016 and GLL with its acquisition of 70 Franklin Street in 2008,” said Vice Chairman Edward Maher. “Subsequently, all of the office acquisitions undertaken by Union and GLL in Boston have been overseen by our team. Now, GLL is one of the predominant German sources of capital in the United States.”
Other foreign buyers with whom the NGKF Capital Markets Boston team has long-term relationships include Zurich, Switzerland-based Credit Suisse and Frankfurt, Germany-based Deka Immobilien. In 2016, NGKF Capital Markets sold 70 Franklin Street, a best-in-class urban mixed-use asset in Downtown Boston, to Deka Immobilien for $42.1 million. This transaction also marked the first acquisition for Deka’s newly-formed United States-based fund.
In addition to its strong performance in Boston, NGKF Capital Markets has demonstrated its proven ability to successfully execute foreign buyer introductions in key cities throughout the United States. These transactions are highlighted by NGKF Capital Markets’ recent sale of Amazon.com Phase VIII, a newly-constructed 317,804-square-foot building within online retail and technology giant Amazon’s headquarters campus in Seattle, Washington, to Mirae Asset Global Investments for $246.8 million. This transaction marked the Seoul, South Korea-based firm’s first office acquisition on the West Coast of the United States.
A crucial component of NGKF Capital Markets’ national success in placing foreign capital is its seamless collaboration with London-based partner Knight Frank and the integration of their more than 400 offices around the world. In particular, Knight Frank boasts an extensive history of sourcing foreign capital and establishing long-term relationships with foreign buyers.
“Having placed nearly $18 billion in foreign capital in London alone since 2010, Knight Frank is clearly dominant in the European market,” said Senior Managing Director Alex Foshay, who recently moved to NGKF Capital Markets’ New York office after serving as a partner in the Knight Frank Central London Capital Markets team. “Our partners at Knight Frank are extremely familiar with foreign capital - in the United Kingdom, approximately 70 percent of office sales volume is executed with overseas capital, compared to approximately 30 percent in the United States.”
Recent foreign buyer transactions completed by Knight Frank include the sale of Bankside Quarter, a mixed-use development site in London’s Southbank, to a consortium of Malaysian and Singaporean investors for $363 million; the acquisition of 88 Wood Street, a trophy City of London office building, on behalf of a private Hong Kong investor for $332 million; and the sale of a pan-German logistics portfolio to the government-owned Malaysian fund EPF for $195 million.
“The strength of the Newmark Grubb Knight Frank platform and its reach across the globe clearly bolsters NGKF Capital Markets’ expertise in introducing foreign capital within Boston and throughout the United States,” said U.S. Head of Capital Markets Robert Griffin. “Together, these local, national and international components combine to form a ‘perfect storm’ featuring top real estate professionals backed by a truly best-in-class platform.”
About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 14,100 professionals operate from more than 400 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.
With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.
NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit www.bgcpartners.com.