Tuesday, December 30, 2003

IRS Issues Field Service Memorandum for Restaurant Depreciation

WASHINGTON, DC - December 24, 2003 - NACS Online

The IRS issued a Field Service Memorandum on December 8, 2003, to its audit staff to provide direction when examining the depreciation deductions of businesses operating restaurants. Although the Field Service Memorandum is directed specifically to the restaurant industry, the guidelines include information that is also applicable to other retail businesses.

The directive includes a matrix that recommends the categorization and general depreciation system guidance for assets used in a restaurant business. The matrix sets out descriptive information for categorization of beverage equipment, fire-protection equipment, lighting fixtures, canopies, kitchen equipment, floors and floor coverings, security systems, landscaping, and other similar items. In many instances, IRS categorizes these items as ADR Class 57.0--Distributive Trades and Businesses with a five-year recovery period.

For more information about the IRS Field Service Memorandum, contact NACS Tax Counsel Allan Weiner at aweiner@colliershannon.com or (202) 342-8431.

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Siemens Completes $30.1 Million Sale Leaseback of HQ in Arlington, TX

NEW YORK, Dec 30, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via Comtex

Lexington Corporate Properties Trust (NYSE: LXP), a real estate investment trust, today announced that it has acquired an office/R&D facility in Arlington, Texas. The purchase price was approximately $30.1 million.

The property consists of two newly-constructed adjacent but separate buildings -- a three-story office building and a single-story R&D facility, that contain 160,016 square feet and 73,767 square feet, respectively. The property, which will serve as the headquarters of Siemens Dematic Postal Automation ('Siemens'), is net-leased to Siemens through January 2014. Lexington has arranged for a $22.0 million non-recourse first mortgage secured by the property. The loan is expected to bear interest at a fixed interest rate of 5.81% and mature in ten years. Sphere: Related Content

McGraw-Hill Completes Sale Leaseback of Rockefeller Center HQ

NEW YORK, December 29, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall

The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP - News) announced today that it has sold its 45% interest in Rock-McGraw, Inc., which owns the Corporation's headquarters building at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, to SL Green Realty Corp. (NYSE: SLG - News) in a transaction valued at $450 million for its 45% interest.

The Corporation will remain an anchor tenant of what will continue to be known as The McGraw-Hill Companies building and will continue to lease space from Rock-McGraw, Inc. under an existing lease for the next 17 years. The Corporate headquarters offices and two of its businesses, BusinessWeek and Standard & Poor's Corporate Value Consulting, remain at the Rockefeller Center location. In line with this strategy, The McGraw-Hill Companies has long-term leases, rather than ownership interests, at many of its major offices, including 2 Penn Plaza and 55 Water Street in New York City and its new London headquarters at Canary Wharf.

As a result of this sale, the Corporation expects to record a gain of approximately $131 million ($58 million after-tax) during the fourth quarter of 2003. Pursuant to sale-leaseback accounting rules, a gain of approximately $212 million ($126 million after-tax) will be deferred and amortized over the remaining lease term largely as a reduction in rent expense. The Rockefeller Group maintains its 55% ownership of Rock-McGraw, Inc., and will continue to manage the building. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Employers Reinsurance Completes $79.3 Million Sale Leaseback

NEW YORK - December 23, 2003 - PRNewswire-FirstCall

Lexington Corporate Properties Trust (NYSE: LXP), a real estate investment trust, today announced that it has acquired two properties from Employers Reinsurance Corporation ('ERC') for approximately $79.3 million. At the closing, the properties, located in Overland Park, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, were leased back to ERC for fifteen years. ERC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Company.

The Overland Park, Kansas property is a two-to-five story 320,198 square foot office/headquarters facility located on a 26.2 acre site. The purchase price was $53.7 million. The Kansas City, Missouri property is a three-story 166,641 square foot office facility situated on a 7.2 acre site. The purchase price was $25.6 million. Sphere: Related Content

USAA Weighing Sale Leaseback of Four Regional Offices

The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va. - December 22, 2003

USAA, the diversified provider of insurance, investment and banking services, said it is weighing the possible sale of its four regional offices, including one in Norfolk, as a way to enhance its financial condition. The San Antonio-based company said the proposal to sell the buildings and lease them back from a buyer would free up assets that USAA could put into revenue-generating investments. If it acts on this plan, a transaction would likely occur this summer, USAA said in a statement.

The proposed sale and leasing arrangement, it said, are contingent on receiving an attractive offer. USAA said it would maintain control over operations at the four buildings and lease them back through long-term, renewable contracts. The other three offices are in Tampa, Fla., Colorado Springs and Sacramento, Calif.

USAA opened a temporary mid-Atlantic regional office in Norfolk in 1989. Three years later, the office was moved to a complex that USAA built on Northampton Boulevard near Military Highway. The main building, with 340,666 square feet of space, a parking garage and a child-care center, are surrounded by a 33-acre campus. The property's assessed value is $25.3 million, said Karen Gulbranson, a USAA spokeswoman in Norfolk.

Instead of broadening its network of regional offices as it once planned to do, USAA has been realigning its regional structure and building a large operations facility in Phoenix. That facility and USAA's headquarters and operations center in San Antonio are not part of the proposed sale-leaseback transaction.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Wells to Buy Blue Cross HQ in Philadelphia for $200 Million

Philadelphia Business Journal - December 19, 2003

Wells Real Estate Funds will buy Independence Blue Cross' headquarters building at 1901 Market St. for an estimated $200 million. Wells Real Estate Funds, a firm that focuses on buying premier office and industrial properties, bought the 840,000-square-foot building for roughly $250 a square foot from the real estate affiliate of Prudential Financial. The purchase is the first in the Philadelphia market for the Georgia firm.

Independence Blue Cross constructed the 50-story blue-glass tower in the late 1980s for $190 million. The structure was constructed during a Philadelphia building boom in the late 1980s and early '90s that was sparked by the signature One Liberty Place.
The IBC building allowed the insurer to consolidate its workers into one site. At the time, the company had about 1,500 employees spread between Centre Square and the Weidner Building.

The building was developed by Linpro Co., a Berwyn real estate company that no longer exists. Linpro and IBC were initially partners in the project, but the insurer bought out the real estate company's interest in 1987. The building is adjacent to 1919 Market, a vacant lot on which Linpro had originally intended to construct another tower that would complement the IBC skyscraper. The 33,746-square-foot plot, which remains vacant, is now owned by UJF Bank of Tokyo and is on the market.

IBC sold the building in the mid-1990s to Prudential for an undisclosed amount. It's believed by local real estate sources that the sale price at the time was around $150 million. The insurer will decline comment until the sale between Prudential and Wells has been finalized.

Wells Real Estate buys properties that are leased long-term -- seven to 12 years -- to preferably a single tenant that is of Fortune 500 caliber. It typically buys in major and secondary U.S. cities. The firm also deals in cash, closing transactions within 45 days. The IBC tower fits Wells' investment agenda. IBC has a lease on the property for more than 10 years at rents that are estimated to be in the mid-$30s per square foot. The acquisition is likely to be completed by the end of the year.

The building, which is reminiscent of the nondescript glass office towers commonly found in Houston, received some notoriety in 1997 when Alain "Spiderman" Robert, a French daredevil who became famous for scaling tall buildings, climbed 44 stories of the high-rise before he was dragged in by police waiting on a balcony. In true Philadelphia spirit, Robert had a "Go Eagles, Beat Dallas" banner while he climbed the building. Before attempting the IBC building, Spiderman had scaled the Empire State Building as well as Kuala Lumpur City Centre in Malaysia.

Officials from Wells and Prudential couldn't be reached for comment.

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Saturday, December 20, 2003

Senate Finance Committee to Stop Leveraged Lease Deals of Tax-Exempt Property

The Bond Buyer recently reported that Senate Finance Committee chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is threatening to add a retroactive effective date to a provision in a pending corporate tax bill that would prevent leveraged lease deals of tax-exempt property The move has halted an estimated $2 billion worth of lease transactions involving public transit and other municipal and state owned assets that are in the pipeline. The provision to stop leveraged leases is one of several abusive tax shelter initiatives included in the corporate tax bill, which was approved by the Senate Finance Committee on Sept. 18 and sent to the full Senate on Nov. 7.
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Caterpillar Enters Sale Lease-Back of 2.9 Million SF Industrial Complex in Illinois

OAK BROOK, Ill., Dec 16, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/

CenterPoint Properties Trust (NYSE: CNT) announced the acquisition of four buildings purchased from Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT). The 2.9 million square feet of industrial space is located on 280 acres just east of the I-55/I-80 intersection adjacent to the Empress Casino on the Des Plaines River in Joliet, IL.

Caterpillar is the world's largest producer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The four building industrial complex is home to Caterpillar's hydraulics and hydraulic systems manufacturing process, one of the core components of its earth moving equipment. Caterpillar has signed a long-term lease with CenterPoint to continue operations at the site. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Deutsche Bank to Sell And Leaseback 51 European Properties to Blackstone Group for $1.23 Billion

International Herald Tribune - November 25, 2003

Deutsche Bank has agreed to sell 51 European properties to the U.S. private-equity firm Blackstone Group to raise funds for its banking business. The assets comprise a mixed real estate portfolio of 51 bank branches and offices in nine jurisdictions across Europe with a total lettable area of around 490,000 square metres. About two-thirds of the buildings are in Germany, such as Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. The remaining properties are in major European cities including Barcelona, Brussels, Lisbon and Milan.

The deal, valued at E1.04 billion, or $1.23 billion, includes office buildings in German cities like Frankfurt and Munich, as well as in Barcelona, Brussels, Lisbon and Milan, said Klaus Thoma, a Deutsche Bank spokesman. The company expects to book a loss of about E100 million on the sale which will be completed by the end of the year. The bank is selling and leasing back the properties now to take advantage of "cheap" rental prices, Thoma said. The company said most of the proceeds will be used for its banking business, without providing specifics.

Deutsche Bank, under its chief executive, Josef Ackermann, has been selling or finding partners for businesses to free funds to invest in banking operations after the industry had its worst year since World War II in 2002. The bank said it would lease back most of the property it is selling, adding that it may reduce its real-estate holdings further.

'This sale fits in with Deutsche Bank's strategy to sell assets, and I expect more significant sales of other stakes to come up soon,' said Wulf Weiler, an analyst at WGZ-Bank. The sale allows for the flexible management of the bank’s future occupational requirements, locking in rents at a tenant friendly low point in the letting cycle.

For New York-based Blackstone, which manages the world's largest buyout fund, the purchase marks the biggest property acquisition the firm has made on its own, according to Chad Pike, who runs the company's European real-estate operations. Blackstone has invested in more than 100 real-estate assets, valued at $13 billion, since 1992. It has four property funds, representing a combined $4 billion, for investment in the United States and Europe. Sphere: Related Content

Singapore's Blue Chips Pursuing Sale & Leaseback of Property Assets

The Business Times - November 26, 2003

Having a flagship piece of real estate used to be the pride and joy of many companies, but increasingly, these properties are being put on the market. And high-profile names feature prominently in the divestment game. 'We've seen this happening for a while now,' said Kim Eng research head Seah Hiang Hong. 'Previously, companies thought there were capital gains to be had, besides buying property for their own use. But the scenario has changed with the property market being depressed for so long.'

Singapore Telecommunications is putting its exchange site in Old Holland Road up for tender, while media giant Singapore Press Holdings has sold its historic Times House site to Marco Polo Developments for $118.88 million.

Fashion retailer FJ Benjamin, too, is looking for buyers for its prime Orange Grove Road headquarters.TT International, which makes consumer electronic products under the Akira brand, let go of its flagship TT International Tradepark in Toh Guan Road to Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (A-Reit) for $92 million. In turn, TT is leasing back the property for 10 years.

Osim and Ultro Technologies also entered into sale-and-lease-back agreements with A-Reit for their name-bearing properties.

'Previously, companies bought property out of security, afraid that they may one day get booted out when rents rise,' says DTZ Debenham Tie Leung executive director Ong Choon Fah. 'But with rents being soft now and the proliferation of sale-and-lease-back agreements, there is no such fear.' Sphere: Related Content

Deutsche Bank Acquires Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer HQ in London for $162.1 Million

LONDON, Sept 24, 2003 (Reuters)

In a further sign that investors are returning to the depressed City of London office market, Deutsche Bank Real Estate said it has purchased Northcliffe House in the financial district for 141 million euros ($162.1 million).

Northcliffe House, with 18,000 square metres of office space, was completed in December, 2001 and was bought from British Clerical Medical Investment Group and an affiliate of the U.S. TIAA-CREF investment group. Its long-term tenant is the law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Deutsche said it had purchased the building for its grundbesitz-invest open-ended fund, which has 10 billion euros in assets. Deutsche Bank Real Estate is the world's largest property investment manager with total assets of around 48 billion euros.

'The commercial property market in the UK is currently one of the more attractive ones in Europe. DB Real Estate plans further investments in this country,' Kurt Muller, managing director of acquisitions at DB Real Estate said. The City of London office market is in the depths of the worst slump since the recession of the early 1990s, with rents falling over 15 percent in the first half of this year, due to the mass shedding of financial services jobs since 2000. But a number of high profile investors have recently ventured into the market in anticipation of a recovery in rents from 2004/05 as the supply of new office developments dries up and as global economic recovery gathers pace. " Sphere: Related Content

Eddie Bauer Seeking Sale & Leaseback of HQ Near Seattle

The Seattle Times - November 20, 2003

The Spiegel Group, parent company of Eddie Bauer, asked a bankruptcy court Monday for permission to sell its 18.2-acre property at 15010 N.E. 36th St., Redmond. The judge is expected to rule Nov. 25. The Downers Grove, Ill.-based Spiegel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March and has closed customer and distribution centers and dozens of Eddie Bauer stores. The chain now has 468 stores, down from 574 a year ago. The company could lease back some or all of the campus, keeping the headquarters there, or it could move its 550 employees somewhere else.

The three-building campus, home to Eddie Bauer since 1972, was rebuilt in the 1990s and is worth about $33 million, said Steve Sutherland, a vice president at CB Richard Ellis in Bellevue who will handle the sale. Real-estate investors and neighboring companies, including Microsoft, have expressed interest in the property, which is nearly surrounded by the software giant.

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Saturday, December 13, 2003

Irish Investors Buying Lloyds of London HQ for £240 Million

Property Week - December 12, 2003

A syndicate of Irish investors is set for one of the biggest investment deals of the year by buying the landmark Lloyds of London headquarters. The Richard Rogers-designed building on Leadenhall Street, EC3, is being sold by German open-ended fund Deka and has been placed under offer by the consortium at close to the asking price of £240m.

The deal will be one of the biggest purchases by an Irish syndicate, the members of which are unknown. It is close in value to the £246.5m deal to buy Goldman Sachs' Fleet Street HQ by a consortium led by Dublin accountant Kevin Warren and Green Property in 2000. Irish investors are hugely active in the UK property market. In a report issued this week, Irish agent Lisney said a record ¤2bn (£1.4bn) was expected to be invested overseas by Irish investors this year, and 90% of that is being spent in the UK.

The Lloyds building, which totals 310,000 sq ft (28,800 sq m) and was completed in 1986, is one of the best-known examples of modern architecture in the country. There had been speculation that Lloyds was trying to buy back the building, having sold it to Deka in 1996. However, it would have been difficult for the institution to be seen to be buying it back. It only sold the building to Deka, at that time known as Despa, for £180m, in a sale-and-leaseback deal under which Lloyds took a 30-year lease.

Any deal now would require Lloyds to pay at least £50m more to buy it back. 'We're not involved in any plans to buy the building,' said a Lloyds spokesman this week. The bid to sell is unusual for Deka which, along with the other German open-ended funds, has been an active acquirer of well-let UK office buildings. In recent months it has bought two buildings from Prudential in the City for a total of more than £300m.

FPDSavills and CB Richard Ellis are advising it on the sale.

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Thursday, December 11, 2003

HRPT Closes $480 Million Acquisition of Net Lease Portfolio in Hawaii

NEWTON, Mass., Dec 5, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE)

HRPT Properties Trust (HRP) today announced that it has acquired the Damon Estate commercial and industrial lands in Oahu, Hawaii for $480 million. As previously announced, the Damon Estate commercial and industrial lands consist of 9,754,828 square feet of land primarily located between Honolulu International Airport and Honolulu Harbor, within a short distance (between 0.5 and 5 miles) from the Honolulu Central Business District. Approximately 99% of the Damon lands are leased to 137 tenants (under 186 separate leases) who have developed various buildings and businesses on their leaseholds.

Because of their location, most of the Damon lands were originally developed for warehouse uses. However, since their historical uses were first developed, many parcels have been redeveloped as shopping centers and other commercial uses. The triple net rents payable by tenants of the Damon lands in 2004 is expected to be approximately $37.5 million/year, which amount includes about $2 million/year of non cash average rents which will be received in the future as a result of contractual rent increases and are reported as income under generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. Under the lease terms, the tenants are generally responsible for all land operating costs and liabilities, including environmental liabilities.

The average remaining tenant lease term for the Damon lands is approximately 22.3 years. No leases expire before 2009, when 9 leases for a total of approximately 400,000 square feet will expire. Many of the Damon land leases provide that rents are periodically reset to market rates, usually every 5 to 10 years. HRPT has acquired the Damon lands free and clear of mortgage debts. Some of the land tenants have borrowed money secured by their leasehold interests to develop their leaseholds or operate their businesses, but all of these tenant leasehold mortgages are subordinated to HRPT's land ownership.

HRPT's current business plan for the Damon lands is to work with existing tenants to offer extended lease terms in return for rental adjustments. If acceptable arrangements are not agreed with existing tenants and as leases expire, HRPT then expects to offer the various parcels for lease, sale or redevelopment for their respective highest and best uses.

HRPT has funded this purchase using cash on hand and drawings under its unsecured revolving bank credit facility. HRPT is currently considering various alternatives for re-financing outstanding amounts under its revolving bank credit facility on a long term basis. HRPT Properties Trust is a real estate investment trust headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, which primarily owns approximately 26 million square feet of office buildings located throughout the USA.

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SCOR to Sell & Leaseback HQ Building in Paris la Defense Financial Complex

Insurance Journal - December 1, 2003

France's SCOR Group will hold an Extraordinary General Assembly meeting today, conducted by Chairman Denis Kessler to confirm plans to raise additional capital. The announcement, which is not for publication in the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia, due to securities laws, will confirm that the group intends to raise 750 million Euros ($896 million) in a rights offering to existing shareholders. The amount is a significant increase over the iniutal plan to raise 600 million euros ($717 million).

SCOR said that certain SCOR shareholders have confirmed their intention to subscribe for an amount of 300 million euros ($358.5 million), the remainder to be guaranteed by a bank syndicate. French insurer Groupama owns around an 18 percent stake in SCOR, and has said that it would participate in the rights offer.

The bulletin also indicated that the company has finalized its real estate asset sale program, which involves selling its building in Paris la Defense financial complex, and taking it back on a long term lease. In addition SCOR said it has finalized the sale of two Parisian residential buildings and one office building in Madrid. Sphere: Related Content

Fitch Issues Presale Report On GE Business Loan Trust 2003-2


Fitch Ratings has issued a presale report on GE Business Loan Trust 2003-2 discussing the rating analysis behind Fitch's expected 'AAA' rating on the class A certificates, expected 'A' rating on the class B certificates, and expected 'BBB' rating on the class C certificates. The securities are backed by a pool of conventional small business loans and Small Business Administration Section 504 Program loans. The loans are secured by first liens on owner-occupied, single tenant retail, office, industrial, or other commercial real estate. None of the underlying business loans are insured or guaranteed by any governmental agency.

The loans were originated by General Electric Capital Business Asset Funding Corporation and the Small Business Finance (SBF) lending division of General Electric Capital Corporation. This transaction represents the second term securitization of loans originated by those business units. The presale report is available to all investors on Fitch's corporate site, 'www.fitchratings.com' or by contacting Sara Grohl at 1-212-908-0564 or via e-mail, 'sara.grohl@fitchratings.com'. Sphere: Related Content

L & J Schmier Buys Aurora Loan Services HQ in Denver for $29.5 Million

The Denver Business Journal - December 1, 2003

L & J Schmier Management and Investment Co., a private investment firm with offices in Florida and Michigan, has purchased ParkRidge Six, a 161,218 square-foot office building in southeast suburban Denver for $29.5 million. The building, at 10350 Park Meadows Drive in the ParkRidge Corporate Center, is leased on a long term basis to Aurora Loan Services Inc. (ALS), a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers.
The building was originally built as by the Patrinely Group LLC in 2001 as a build-to-suit for financial management firm American Century. Earlier this fall American Century entered into a long-term lease with ALS. This acquisition is L & J Schmier's first in metro Denver. Crimson Financial represented the seller, ParkRidge Six LLC, a subsidiary of Patrinely Group and Apollo Real Estate Advisors LP.
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US Govt Dedicates First Building of 2 Million SFHQ Facility in Alexandria, VA

WASHINGTON, Dec 02, 2003 /PRNewswire via COMTEX

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), in partnership with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and LCOR Alexandria, LLC (LCOR), today dedicated the Remsen Building, the first building of the USPTO's new consolidated headquarters facility in Alexandria, Virginia. Named for Henry Remsen, Jr., Chief Clerk of the first Patent Board, the new structure is the first of five buildings to be completed. The new USPTO headquarters facility consolidates space in eighteen leased buildings from Crystal City, Virginia, to an interconnected complex.

LCOR is the developer and lessor for the facility that will total almost 2 million square feet and house 7,100 USPTO employees. Located on the Carlyle site in Alexandria, the new headquarters is located in the 'smart growth' development area of the city. The Remsen Building represents the initial 385,000 square feet of office space. The complex will include a 12-story atrium signature building; four handsome supporting office buildings will flank the signature building. According to Assistant Regional Administrator for Public Building Service Anthony E. Costa, "GSA has worked closely with USPTO on consolidation plans for more than a decade. The entire complex will house all headquarters employees by spring 2005 in a campus-like setting with five linked buildings and two parking structures in a U-shaped configuration." With approximately half of USPTO employees commuting via public transportation (the highest of any federal agency), the complex is within walking distance of the King Street and Eisenhower Avenue Metrorail stations as well as the King Street VRE commuter train station.

The project represents the largest lease ever signed by GSA. Sphere: Related Content

Wells Buys $347 Million in Single Tenant Properties From Beacon Capital Partners

Washington Business Journal - December 1, 2003

Beacon Capital Partners sold four offices to completing one of the largest portfolio sales in the D.C. market this year and cutting its local portfolio to one building. Atlanta-based Wells bought two downtown offices, one in Southwest and one in Arlington for a total of 1 million square feet. The sales price was roughly $347 million, say sources in the market.

Beacon, a firm out of Boston, bought all four buildings in 2002 from various owners for about $278.5 million. Each of the buildings has low vacancy, is in a popular location and has long-term leases. The downtown offices, at 1201 and 1225 Eye St. NW, total about 493,000 square feet and are almost entirely leased. General Services Administration is the anchor tenant in both. The Southwest office, at 400 Virginia Ave., is 215,000 square feet and leased to Lockheed Martin. And the Northern Virginia building, at 4250 N. Fairfax Drive in Ballston, is 306,000 square feet with a long-term lease to Qwest.

"Beacon is a savvy real estate investor," Kaye says, "and they're taking advantage of capital market timing." In the past three years, Beacon bought and sold Canal Center Plaza, a four-building campus in Alexandria, and 700 13th St. NW. Beacon's only remaining D.C.-area office is in Georgetown, 2445 M St. NW, which will be filled by the Advisory Board. A company spokesperson says the building is not on the market, but sources say once the Advisory Board moves in and stabilizes the building's vacancy, it likely will be.

Wells (www.wellsref.com) is a national real estate investment management firm that buys existing Class A office and industrial properties, corporate sale-leasebacks and build-to-suit projects. Its investment focus is on well-placed, secure projects. In this market, Wells owns 250 E St. SW. The building, called One Independence Square, totals 337,794 square feet and was purchased from Boston Properties last year. Wells also owns 150,000 square feet of office space at 11109 and 11107 Sunset Hills Road in Reston.

This Beacon sale nearly triples the top sales transaction of 2002, according to Washington Business Journal research.

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Met Life Selling Manhattan HQ of Credit Suisse First Boston for $675 Million

New York Post Online Edition - December 4, 2003

The giant art deco office tower known as 11 Madison Ave., an icon of the Midtown South skyline, is being sold to Tamir Sapir, owner of litigation-scarred 2 Broadway. Met Life, which built and still owns the 1932 skyscraper, is selling it for $675 million. That's about $310 per square foot for the 2.2 million-square-foot structure, which is the Manhattan headquarters of Credit Suisse First Boston.

If the deal closes by year's end, as expected, it would be the second-largest Manhattan investment sale this year, behind the $1.4 billion sale of the GM Building to Harry Macklowe. Sources said the catalyst for the deal was investor David Werner, who has initiated other purchases for Sapir but who typically does not have a significant equity stake. Sapir's offer for 11 Madison Ave. beat out a field that included S.L. Green, Tishman Speyer, German fund Jamestown, and Aby Rosen's RFR Realty. Sapir could not be reached. Werner declined comment, referring calls to Eastdil broker Douglas Harmon, part of the Eastdil-Lehman Bros. brokerage team that represented Met Life - but Harmon did not return a call.

The 30-story tower is one of those buildings that looks like a landmark but isn't. Filling the whole block between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South between 24th and 25th streets, its stepped facades loom like Art Deco cliffs over Madison Square Park. CSFB moved into 11 Madison in the 1990s and occupies about 1.5 million square feet.

Sapir, an immigrant from Georgia, also owns 260 and 261 Madison Ave. At 2 Broadway, he was embroiled in lawsuits with the MTA over the agency's long-term net lease of the tower and its costly renovation. The MTA and Sapir's company, ZAR Realty, settled the matter last month. Sphere: Related Content

JP Morgan to Securitize $467 Million in Mortgages Used to Finance Sale-Leaseback With France Telecom

Commercial Mortgage Alert reports that J.P. Morgan Chase plans to securitize 400 million euros ($467 million) of mortgages that it provided to a Morgan Stanley partnership to finance a sale- leaseback transaction with France Telecom. The deal is backed by mortgages and leases on 457 French properties - mostly telephone switching stations with some attached office space - that France Telecom sold to a partnership between Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund and Fonciere des Regions, a Paris- based property firm.

France Telecom, Europe's second-largest telephone company, leased the properties back for six to nine years. The company agreed to the sale last year as part of a drive to reduce its debt load. J.P. Morgan beat out Deutsche Bank for the mortgage assignment. The property sales - and loans - were completed in three stages, finishing in June. A happy result of the long lag before the launch of the CMBS deal is that France Telecom's debt-reduction program has won favor with investors and analysts. This should help J.P. Morgan get better prices for its bonds, whose ratings will be tied to France Telecom's creditworthiness. S&P raised the company's corporate credit rating to 'BBB' (from 'BBB-') in May, following a series of down-grades over the previous six years. Moody's announced last month that it may upgrade its rating of 'Baa3.' Sphere: Related Content

Rotch to Refinance Pounds 300 Million Office Portfolio Leased to British Telecom

Commercial Mortgage Alert reports that Rotch Property will tap the commercial MBS market to refinance a 788,000-square-foot portfolio of office properties in the U.K. ABN Amro and UBS will co-lead the 300 million pound ($510 million) offering. The five office properties that serve as collateral are leased to British Telecommunications through 2031.

Rotch, a London firm, bought the portfolio last year from a joint venture between Land Securities Trillium and William Pears Group. The Land Securities partnership bought the properties in 2001 along with a huge portfolio from British Telecom, which leased them for 30 years. Rotch will use the proceeds of the lease-backed transaction to retire a maturing one-year acquisition loan from an unidentified London bank. The term of the bonds will match the remaining term on the leases to British Telecom, which is rated Baal/A3 by Moody's and S&P. Rotch is eager to arrange long-term financing in order to capitalize on the prevailing low interest rates. Two of the properties are located just outside London, while the others are in Glasgow, Belfast and Edinburgh. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Deka Buys Goldman Sachs UK HQ for Pounds 200 Million

November 12, 2003 - Holland Real Estate

Prudential has sold Christchurch Court, the headquarters of Goldman Sachs, to the German open-ended fund, Deka, for nearly Pounds 200m. The 300,000 sq ft building, on 15 Newgate Street EC4, is let to Goldman Sachs for a further 17 years. The US investment bank is paying a rent in the high Pounds 40s, meaning that the sale price reflects a yield of around 6.5%. A source close to Prudential commented: "The Pru decided to cash in on the German appetite for well-let buildings on long leases." Deka is also set to buy Prudential's Atlantic House at 45-50 Holborn Viaduct, EC1, for over Pounds 110m. The 244,000 sq ft office building is currently let to Lovells. CB Richard Ellis and FPDSavills are advising Deka. Sphere: Related Content

Canary Wharf Agrees to sell Citigroup and Credit Suisse First Boston UK HQs to Royal Bank of Scotland for Pounnds 1.1 Billion

Freeman News - December 8, 2003

In one of the biggest property deals ever seen in the UK, Canary Wharf has agreed to sell two buildings to Royal Bank of Scotland for Pounds 1.1bn. Wholly owned subsidiaries of RBS paid a total of Pounds 1.112bn for the two properties - 25 Canada Square, occupied by Citigroup, and 5 Canada Square, occupied by Credit Suisse First Boston.

The 1.2m sq ft 25 Canada Square was valued at Pounds 690m on 30 June 2003, and generates Pounds 44.9m a year in rent. 5 Canada Square totals 515,000 sq ft, was valued at Pounds 327m in June and provides an annual rent of Pounds 19.7m. The disposals will increase Canary Wharf's net asset value by around Pounds 8m, its adjusted NAV by Pounds 32.1m and its triple NAV by around Pounds 71.1m. Canary Wharf's adjusted triple NAV is likely to fall by about Pounds 96.5m.

The deals still need to be approved by Canary Wharf shareholders, and an extraordinary general meeting will be held on 22 December in order for voting to take place on the issue. The sale of Canary Wharf to Morgan Stanley and Simon Glick will be conditional on the completion of the disposals. However, the deal to sell the buildings will still be completed if Morgan Stanley's offer is ultimately unsuccessful. Sphere: Related Content

Land Securities Selling IBM and Nabarro Nathanson HQs in London for Pounds 75m & 90m

Property Week - November 14, 2003

Land Securities is selling two of its London office holdings as it continues to capitalise on the strong market for well-let investments. The UK's largest property company has exchanged contracts to sell the IBM Building on Upper Ground, SE1, to UK & European Investments for Pounds 74.5m. It is also in talks to sell Lacon House on Theobalds Road, WC1, the headquarters of law firm Nabarro Nathanson, to German open-ended fund DB Real Estate for around Pounds 90m. The sales are the latest in a series by LandSecs in the capital. Already this year it has sold Grand Buildings in Trafalgar Square to UBS subsidiary Noriba Bank and Salisbury Square House in the City to Deka.

The IBM Building comprises 216,000 sq ft (20,067 sq m) in a prime position on the South Bank next to the National Theatre. The purchase price reflects a yield of just under 7%. The sale of the property comes four years after LandSecs acquired it in a Pounds 61m sale-and-leaseback with the computer company. IBM is committed until at least 2014, when it has the chance to break the lease.

The Lacon House building was let to Nabarro Nathanson in 1998, when the firm moved from Mayfair Place in the West End in a deal that was seen as crucial to reviving Holborn as an office destination. The deal comes just weeks after DB Real Estate bought Tishman Speyer’s Tower Place scheme next to the Tower of London for £215m.

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British Land Near Pounds 450 Million Sale Leaseback of Debenhams UK Store Portfolio

Property Week - December 4, 2003

City sources said this week that a deal was in the final stages of being completed with Baroness Retail, the new owners of the department store group. The consortium between venture capitalists CVC Capital Partners, Texas Pacific Group, and investment house, Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity agreed to acquire Debenhams for Pounds 1.7bn on 23 October. Following completion of the takeover today, Debenhams shares will be delisted tomorrow. British Land has been in talks with Baroness Retail for weeks over a sale-and-leaseback of up to 16 stores since September. However, both parties have refused to confirm whether a deal will happen. Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker is advising Baroness.

Sphere: Related Content

Brixton Sells Two Single Tenant Office Buildings in UK for Pounds 18.25 Million

Property Week - December 8, 2003

Drake House and Swan House, Homestead Road, comprising two office buildings and 245 car spaces, were sold to private property company Zamora at a net initial yield of 7.55%. The properties total 70,322 sq ft (6,533 sq m). Drake House has just been let to BACS on a new 20-year lease, following the departure of Daewoo, the ill-fated car manufacturer, in 2002. Swan House is being let to Comet Group on a 25-year lease. The total annual income amounts to Pounds 1.46m. CBRE acted for Brixton on the sale and Zamora was advised by DTZ. Brixton also recently sold long leasehold interest at Nuffield Way Industrial Estate in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, to ING Property Income Fund for Pounds 17m. Sphere: Related Content

Jamestown Management Acquires $131 Million IBM Office Campus in Atlanta

Jamestown Management
National Real Estate Investor Online Exclusive - Dec 10 2003

A major Atlanta office complex has traded for $131 million, making it Atlanta's biggest office sale of the year. Jamestown Management, a German property syndicator, bought the 864,700 sq. ft. property. The seller was a publicity-shy German billionaire, according to Jamestown's agent Marcus & Millichap. 'The property, 4111 Northside Parkway, was never formally on the market, but when we got wind of the opportunity, Jamestown immediately came to mind as the best qualified buyer,' says Ted Kokernak, a senior agent at Marcus & Millichap. IBM occupies the entire office complex, which consists of two buildings and a multi-level garage. The property was acquired in January 2000 for $120 million, according to Marcus & Millichap. Sphere: Related Content

Realty Income Acquires $135 Million Property Portfolio of 86 Retail Tire Stores

ESCONDIDO, Calif., Dec 1, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE)

Realty Income Corp. (NYSE:O) announced today that it has provided approximately $135 million in sale-leaseback financing to TBC Corp. (NASDAQ:TBCC) by acquiring 86 retail tire locations under long-term, net-lease agreements. Realty Income acquired the 86 properties under 20-year, triple-net lease agreements. The stores were purchased for an average cost of $1.5 million and average approximately 10,500 in leasable square feet on a typical lot size of 1.2 acres. The properties are generally in desirable retail locations near major retail centers, located on high traffic thoroughfares. In addition, the properties acquired are primarily existing, seasoned, retail tire store locations with profitable operating histories. The 86 stores are located in 15 states including 29 properties in Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Waco and Beaumont), 11 in Illinois (Chicago MSA), 9 in Pennsylvania, 5 each in Massachusetts, Maryland and Ohio, 4 each in Missouri and Virginia, 3 each in New Jersey and New Hampshire, 2 each in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, and 1 each in Kansas and West Virginia.

Realty Income also disclosed that it plans to hold approximately $110 million of the properties in its core portfolio as long-term investments and will place approximately $25 million of the properties in its Crest Net Lease Inc. subsidiary for future sales. After the sale of the Crest Net Lease properties, the company anticipates that TBC Corp. (TBC) will be its fourth largest tenant and generate approximately 5.8% of its annual revenue. The company also said that on November 18, 2003 it had issued $150 million of 12-year, 5.5% senior unsecured notes to pay down its bank facility and to fund the TBC acquisition. Following this acquisition, Realty Income will have a balance of approximately $60 million on its $250 million unsecured credit facility.

The company further disclosed that TBC used the financing proceeds to partially fund the acquisition of the 225-store, National Tire and Battery (NTB) retail chain from Sears (NYSE: S) for $225 million. TBC is the nation's largest independent tire retailer and, with the closing of this transaction, TBC will grow to over 1,160 locations throughout the United States. The acquired NTB stores will be integrated into TBC's "Tire Kingdom," company-operated retail store network, which will now have over 585 locations. TBC also has over 570 franchised tire and automotive service centers operating under the "Big O Tires" name.

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Lexington Corporate Properties Trust JV Acquires NH Property for $22.7 Million

NEW YORK, Dec 10, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via Comtex

Lexington Corporate Properties Trust (NYSE: LXP) today announced that an existing joint venture with an institutional investor has acquired an office/manufacturing facility in Durham, New Hampshire from Pitney Bowes (PREFCO) for $22.7 million. The property is a 500,500 square foot mixed-use facility containing office, production, R & D, and warehouse space, originally constructed in 1986 on a 173 acre site. The property was partially renovated and expanded in 2002 and 2003. The property is 100% leased to Heidelberg Web Systems Inc. (Heidelberg) through March 30, 2021. The lease is unconditionally guaranteed by Heidelberg's parent, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. In connection with the acquisition, the joint venture assumed non-recourse first mortgage financing of approximately $19.2 million. The loan bears interest at a fixed rate of 6.73% through March 30, 2011, when the interest rate is reset, and matures on March 30, 2021. Sphere: Related Content

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