The stake sale will be executed through block deals on stock exchanges.
The exact quantum of the proposed stake sale, the third so far since the REIT’s listing in April 2019, has not been decided as yet and depends on the unit price of the REIT on the day of execution of the block deals.
On Friday, Embassy Office Parks REIT units closed at Rs 354.67 on the BSE.
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the sovereign fund of Abu Dhabi, is believed to be participating in these block deals and picking up a stake worth $200 million in the REIT.
“The proceeds of this transaction are likely to be used to return money to participants in Blackstone’s close-ended fund that had invested in the REIT,” one of the persons mentioned above told ET.
Blackstone and ADIA could not be reached immediately for a comment. Reuters reported the story on Friday evening.
In September 2021 too, the global private equity major trimmed its stake in Embassy Office Parks REIT through block deals in the open market.
The institutional investor then raised $275 million by selling around 6% stake in the listed entity. The transactions reduced Blackstone’s stake in the REIT to 32%, from 38% previously.
Prior to the 2021 stake sale, Blackstone had $1.7 billion worth of exposure in Embassy Office Parks REIT.
Blackstone had then sold around 57 million shares of Embassy Office Parks REIT at Rs 355.2 per unit.
Institutional investors and funds, including BNP Paribas Arbitrage, American Funds Global Balanced Fund, Stichting Depositary APG Tactical Real Estate Pool, and Integrated Core Strategies (Asia), were among the key entities that had bought these REIT units in block trades.
Co-sponsored by the Blackstone Group and Embassy Group, Embassy Office Parks REIT is India’s first REIT that listed in April 2019.
This will be the third time Blackstone will be trimming its exposure to the REIT through open market block deals.
In June 2020, it had raised over $300 million by selling an 8.7% stake in the listed entity.
In December 2020, Blackstone and Embassy sold Embassy TechVillage, an integrated office park in Bangalore, to Embassy Office Parks REIT. Apart from this, a fundraising exercise by the REIT through a Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) at that time had lowered Blackstone’s holding in the REIT to 38% from over 46%.
Embassy REIT owns and operates a 42.4 million sq ft portfolio of eight infrastructure-like office parks and four citycentre office buildings in India’s key office markets of Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, and the National Capital Region. Its portfolio comprises 32.3 million sq ft completed operating area and counts over 190 global companies as occupiers.
Blackstone is the largest office, retail and warehousing landlord in India and has deployed over $11 billion in the country’s commercial real estate so far.
is the world’s largest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and real estate. It is also a leader in one of the industry’s biggest initiatives—attracting retail investors.
By many measures, the company’s flagship retail product, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, is a success. Known as Breit, it has mushroomed in value to $116 billion since its inception in 2017 and become one of the largest buyers of real estate in the country.
Blackstone (ticker: BX) describes Breit as an “institutional-quality real estate platform that brings private real estate to income-focused investors.” Now one of the largest U.S. real estate investment trusts, Breit owns nearly 5,000 properties, mostly multifamily dwellings and warehouses, as well as the real estate assets of Las Vegas hotels/casinos including the Bellagio and MGM Grand.
Though not publicly traded, it’s sold by major brokerage firms and financial advisors, with a relatively low minimum investment of $2,500. In just five years, Breit has become a lucrative part of Blackstone’s industry-leading real estate franchise, generating $1.8 billion in fees last year and $1 billion in the first six months of 2022.
That rapid growth could have a downside. There has been concern recently about Breit’s outlook, including how it is valued and whether investor redemptions will increase from low levels. BofA Securities analyst Craig Siegenthaler estimated in July that net flows, or sales less redemptions, have essentially moved to “break-even” after inflows averaging $2 billion a month for the past 18 months.
In response to analysts’ questions about Breit on Blackstone’s earnings conference call in July, CEO Stephen Schwarzman said that Breit and other Blackstone offerings provide “enormous value” to investors, “who remember it and they appreciate the firm. That builds our brand. That helps us raise money.”
Recently, however, a cloudier outlook for Breit and other Blackstone retail products such as the Blackstone Private Credit Fund appears to be weighing on Blackstone stock, which at about $102, is down 30% from its November peak.
A Barron’s analysis of Breit suggests that investors should be cautious and instead consider publicly traded real estate investment trusts, or REITs, that look more attractive. Breit has gone up in price this year while public REITs have moved lower. Breit has relatively high fees, offers limited liquidity, and is more leveraged than comparable public companies.
|Company / Ticker||Total YTD||Return 52-Week||Since Breit Inception in 2017|
|Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust / BREIT||7.2%||24.5%||13.5%|
|Vanguard Real Estate / VNQ||-15.5||-6.1||6.7|
|Prologis / PLD||-22.2||2.8||20.4|
|Mid-America Apartment Communities / MAA||-20.6||-6.2||15.1|
|Camden Property Trust / CPT||-22.3||-6.6||12.5|
Note: Returns since 2017 are annualized. Breit returns are for the Class I shares and through June 30.
Sources: Bloomberg; company reports
Blackstone says Breit has appreciated this year because strong financial performance has more than offset the impact of higher interest rates. It says Breit has “delivered exceptional performance” for investors and is “exceptionally well positioned,” given its focus on apartments and warehouses.
Apartments are benefiting from double-digit rent increases, and warehouse demand has been strong. “These are the best fundamentals that I have seen in these two sectors in my entire career,” said Blackstone President Jonathan Gray on a recent webinar.
Breit’s fees are comparable to its private institutional real estate funds, and Blackstone says Breit’s leverage is modest relative to many private real estate funds.
One of Breit’s big selling points, a distribution yield of roughly 4%, is above the REIT average of about 3%. But the distribution isn’t fully earned based on a key REIT cash-flow measure. The distribution yields differ somewhat among its four share classes.
|Total Value Including Debt||$116 B|
|Net Asset Value||$68 B|
|2021 Net Income||-$805 M|
|2021 FAD||$1,290 M|
|2021 Blackstone Management and Incentive Fees||$1,824 M|
|Shares outstanding||4.6 billion|
FAD=funds available for distribution
Sources: Bloomberg; company reports
Breit differs from public REIT peers like
(AVB), which can be bought and sold on public markets. Breit is the only buyer of its shares, and caps monthly redemptions at 2% of the fund’s net asset value and quarterly redemptions at 5%.
Breit says its shares should be considered to have “limited liquidity and at times may be illiquid.” Breit has met all redemption requests since its inception. With inflows that have totaled about $35 billion in the 18 months ending on June 30, the fund has been on a buying spree. For instance, Breit and another Blackstone fund have a $13 billion deal to acquire one of the largest owners of housing for college students,
American Campus Communities
(ACC), which is expected to close in the next few days.
Breit’s growth has been driven by excellent portfolio selection and ample returns. Nearly 80% of its assets are in rental apartments and industrial properties, including warehouses geared toward e-commerce, which have been the two strongest real estate sectors in recent years.
Breit’s total return has averaged 13.5% a year since inception, compared with 7% for the Vanguard Real Estate (VNQ) an exchange-traded fund whose holdings are dominated by the largest public REITs. “It has done a terrific job picking sectors,” says Dave Bragg, an analyst at Green Street, an independent real estate research firm.
Breit’s value has held up amid the fallout in financial markets and in the public REIT sector this year. Breit’s total return this year through June has been about 7%.
On the other hand, the Vanguard ETF had a negative 13% total return through the end of July, while comparable public REITs like Prologis, AvalonBay, and
Camden Property Trust
(CPT) are off 15% or more based on total return. Breit has suffered just three down months since its inception in January 2017.
Breit can rise while comparable public companies are falling because it tracks private real estate markets, which can move more slowly than more volatile public markets. Blackstone prices the fund monthly based on its financial performance and other factors, including interest-rate changes.
Blackstone points to the strong performance of Breit’s portfolio—net operating income was up 16% in the first half of 2022—for the positive returns this year. Public REITs also have reported good results, but their stocks have dropped due to higher interest rates and concerns about a recession.
“When public REITs trade at discounts to underlying value of their assets, it’s a great buying opportunity,” says Bragg of Green Street. “We don’t think investors should be buying in the private markets when the public market opportunities are so great.”
He calculated that the big public REITs on average were trading recently at about a 15% discount to their net asset values.
As an alternative to Breit, investors could consider well-run public alternatives such as Prologis, a leading owner of warehouses, or multifamily REITs such as AvalonBay or Mid-America Apartment Communities. Barron’s wrote favorably on the apartment REIT sector recently.
Redemption requests by Breit investors appear to be picking up. Siegenthaler’s analysis showed that sales were roughly matching redemptions. “Given that Breit generated $9.8 billion in inflows in first-quarter 2022 ($3 billion plus per month), the fact that its flows may have slowed to break-even was surprising and occurred earlier than we expected,” he wrote. He nonetheless has a Buy rating on Blackstone and expects retail flows to Breit and other vehicles to reaccelerate in a recovery.
Blackstone noted on its recent earnings conference call that investors requested $2.9 billion of redemptions from its retail funds including Breit during the second quarter.
Blackstone says it isn’t worried. “In this period of extreme market volatility, a deceleration in fund-raising is unsurprising, but Breit net flows are still positive on the back of strong performance,” the company tells Barron’s.
Asked on the July conference call how it would handle a period of redemptions beyond redemption limits, Gray, who built the firm’s real estate empire, pointed to a “significant amount of a liquidity” at Breit. Gray himself recently invested $50 million in the fund.
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analyst Robert Lee wrote earlier this year that alternative managers are eager to attract “locked-up capital” from individual investors. While that is not an issue when times are good, he said, “there is a risk that in times of stress, individual investors may realize they aren’t so happy with the lack of access to their capital.”
Breit levies a base annual fee of 1.25% of net assets and has an incentive fee of 12.5% of the annual total return if it achieves at least a 5% return. Bragg estimates that Breit’s fees are two to three times those of public REITs and funds, depending on the vehicle chosen by the investor.
Breit had a net asset value of $68 billion—equivalent to an equity market value—and a total value including debt of $116 billion at the end of June. Breit calculates its leverage ratio at 42%—debt divided by total value. Comparable public REITs are about half that level. The fund had $46 billion of debt outstanding at the end of the first quarter while a comparably sized Prologis had $18 billion.
No public REIT analysts follow Breit. It doesn’t issue earnings news releases or hold quarterly conference calls. It files quarterly 10-Qs and annual 10-Ks, but its financial statements, like those of public REITs, are complex.
REIT investors look at net income, but focus more on other measures such as funds from operations and funds available for distribution, which add back sizable depreciation expenses. The idea is that most of the depreciation is a phantom noncash expense since the underlying real estate isn’t falling in value.
Breit, unlike most big public REITs, has operated in the red based on net income. It lost more than $800 million in each of the past two years based on generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, and about $650 million in the first six months of 2022.
For 2021, it calculated its funds available for distribution at $1.3 billion, but that did not cover its distributions to shareholders of $1.6 billion. About half of Breit holders reinvested their distributions last year, reducing cash outlays.
Breit’s calculation of its funds available for distribution, a non-GAAP financial measure, excluded $1.8 billion of management and incentive fees paid to Blackstone in 2021. The reason is that the payments were made in Breit shares rather than in cash. But fees are fees regardless of whether they’re paid in stock or cash. Breit buys back stock paid to Blackstone, meaning Blackstone effectively gets cash. Breit includes management and incentive fees as an expense in its calculation of its GAAP net income.
The Breit distribution is nearly all a return of capital due to its losses. In contrast, most big REITs pay dividends at least partly from net income.
Blackstone says Breit’s net income is depressed by greater depreciation expense relative to public REITs. That high depreciation results in a tax-advantaged distribution, benefiting investors, it says. Breit says it has fully funded the distribution from cash flow from operations, a GAAP metric that excludes the management and incentive fees, since its inception.
Over its first five years, Breit has scored, thanks to smart sector allocations and a real estate bull market. But with a lofty price and high fees, it could be hard-pressed to repeat its historical returns and beat the public REITs. And it has yet to be tested in a sustained economic downturn or a period of net redemptions.
Write to Andrew Bary at email@example.com
The U.S. is in the midst of a housing supply crisis, with rents skyrocketing and the number of first-time homebuyers who can qualify for a mortgage on even a starter home shrinking. Who is to blame for this mess? The Democrats who run the US House Financial Services Committee have identified a convenient villain: corporate investors.
The committee held a hearing today, and the name of the session is the giveaway: “Where Have All the Houses Gone? Private Equity, Single Family Rentals, and America’s Neighborhoods.” Indeed, corporate investors have purchased hundreds of thousands of single-family homes across the country over the last decade, making it harder for Millennials, Gen Z and other first time buyers to break into the market.
But, some experts, including a key one at the hearing, argue that the problems with the housing market run much deeper; they pin the housing shortage and rising rents on the lack of new home building since the Great Recession.
“The growth of institutional investors is a symptom, rather than the cause, of extremely tight housing markets,” Jenny Schuetz, a senior fellow at Brookings Metro said in her statement to the committee. “Institutional investors benefit from tight housing supply, but they did not create the problem.” (Brookings Metro is an initiative of the Brookings Institution focused on the future of the middle class.)
The problem began with the housing bust and the Great Recession, according to Schuetz and other experts. The U.S. built fewer homes in the 2010s than in any decade since the 1960s. Foreclosures left many homes empty and deteriorating. But the decimated home building industry never ramped new residential construction back up to meet the needs of future homebuyers. Those builders who did survive the Great Recession faced growing zoning and cost challenges.
“Exclusionary zoning rules make it difficult to build in places where there’s a lot of demand for new homes, like big urban areas,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in an interview. Zandi added that many growing suburban areas have restrictions on building multi-family housing and that higher permit costs have made it more expensive to start new residential construction.
Meanwhile, as the economy grew over the last decade–and aging Millennials married and started families–the number of would-be first time homebuyers grew. The combination of a lack of new entry-level homes and more buyers drove up home prices and rents.
“The surge in housing values, house prices, and rents has supercharged the institutional investor demand for homes,” Zandi observed.
While the private equity industry didn’t cause the housing crunch, Zandi and others agree that institutional investors have exacerbated the problem, especially for minorities, lower-income families, and first-time homebuyers.
Institutional investors first entered the single family rental market after the Great Recession when they started buying up foreclosed homes. Their interest spiked during the Covid housing boom–the pandemic led to lower interest rates, trillions of dollars in stimulus, a rise in demand for single-family homes, and supply chain disruptions which made construction more expensive. All those forces pushed up house prices.
“Institutional landlords have seized the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to expand their reach even further into our homes,” Sofia Lopez, a deputy campaign director at the Action Center on Race and the Economy, said in her statement. “Private equity’s business model hinges on boosting revenue, cutting costs, and maximizing efficiencies…This is a recipe for disaster: in housing, it translates into exorbitant rent increases.”
Corporate investors made 28 percent of all single-family home purchases nationwide in the first quarter of 2022, up from 19 percent in the first quarter of last year, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The problem is particularly acute in booming Sun Belt markets, where investors have raised rents by up to 39 percent over the last year, according to CNBC.
Many of these corporate investors are backed by massive private equity firms. Invitation Homes, which owns a nation-leading 82,000 single-family homes, is backed by the Blackstone Group
Families looking to enter the market have struggled to compete. “Deep pockets and ready access to capital markets allow them [institutional investors] to outbid individuals,” Schuetz said. This has been true for years, even before mortgage rates started rising, with average 30-year fixed rates now around 6 percent, the highest since 2008.
A variety of policy solutions have been put forward by the Biden Administration and others, including increased investments in public housing, tax incentives for institutional investors to sell properties to families, relaxed zoning laws, and tax breaks for home builders.
A May housing proposal by the Biden Administration states its goal is to “Work with the private sector to address supply chain challenges and improve building techniques to finish construction in 2022 on the most new homes in any year since 2006.” Among other things, the proposal aims to leverage funding from last year’s infrastructure bill by assigning Department of Transportation funding to affordable housing.
But those are just fixes around the edges. “We’re going to see institutional Investors grab a larger share of the housing stock. I don’t see that changing anytime soon,” Zandi says. “The only fundamental solution goes back to the fundamental cause: We need more [housing] supply.” That, of course, would help damp down rising prices and make housing less attractive to private investors.
For now, however, the trend is in the wrong direction. Residential construction decreased last month, likely due to rising mortgage rates, and some experts believe that number will remain low for much of the year.
About a year ago, CO reported that the Durst Organization had gone all Alec Baldwin on its workforce: Get vaccinated, or you’re fired.
It looks like Elon Musk has been watching “Glengarry Glen Ross” because this week an email leaked from the would-be social media tycoon to Tesla executives saying: “Remote work is no longer acceptble” [sic]. The email stated that “anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers.”
This presents an interesting new development in the struggle of employers to get workers back to the office.
Musk, however, is not having it. And given the fact that despite recessionary fears employers are still hiring, this is a bold position to take. However, we imagine many employers will be paying attention to how it shakes out.
On the flip side, companies like NBC are apparently making their peace with permanent work-from-home.
At least that’s what we took from the fact that NBC walked away from a massive 90,000-square-foot lease at its iconic headquarters at 30 Rock that apparently was set to be signed before the NBC brass began asking: When will things change?
And a lot of top-tier office owners are apparently wondering the same thing. Four blocks away from 30 Rock, a joint venture between Blackstone and RXR is quietly putting its office tower at 1330 Avenue of the Americas on the market for $350 million, which is about $50 million less than it paid for it in 2010.
But the lease goes on!
In this Musk v. NBC divide, a lot of companies still believe that they will need an office and are planning their future accordingly.
PNC Bank renewed for another five years its 64,941-square-foot lease for its offices and retail bank branch at RXR’s 340 Madison Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.
Four firms — Nationwide Mutual Insurance; the International Refugee Assistance Program; Abrams, Gorelick, Friedman & Jacobson (an insurance law firm); and Cullen and Dykman (a banking, financial, energy and higher education law firm) — all expanded or took new space at Rudin Management’s 1 Battery Place.
Likewise, three firms — Ettinger Engineering, Upwardly Global (a nonprofit that helps refugees) and WhyHunger (another nonprofit) — took space or extended leases at GFP’s 505 Eighth Avenue.
Accrue Savings, a fintech firm, took a two-year, 10,000-square-foot lease at 100-104 Fifth Avenue.
And NYC Office Suites, a short-term flex office provider, took the entire fourth floor of the Chanin Building at 122 East 42nd Street (31,433 square feet).
Speaking of flex office …
In case you haven’t noticed, WeWork has been a popular topic of conversation. And by “popular” we mean beyond just the Commercial Observer set. When a company gets the streaming service treatment (as in “WeCrashed”) it has officially broken into the popular consciousness. (And most landlords would be lucky to get Jared Leto to portray them in an Apple TV+ version of their lives.)
When asked about the series at an NYU symposium in April, the firm’s current CEO Sandeep Mathrani said he was waiting on the sequel, “We Crushed It.”
One of the names that Mathrani has entrusted to carry out the “crushing it” agenda is Peter Greenspan, the global head of real estate for WeWork.
Greenspan sat with CO for a long interview where we discussed SPACs, long-term plans, the competition and more.
Industrial’s still looking pretty good!
There’s still money to be made in industrial real estate. This week Leste Real Estate and Iconic Equities established a new $400 million joint venture to acquire smaller industrial lots in the $5 million to $30 million range for logistics tenants, particularly vehicle storage, in about 25 different markets around the country.
And Rexford plunked down another $163.8 million for industrial real estate in Southern California.
Moreover, there are tenants who appear to be taking space. A Fortune 500 company (we still can’t figure out which one) signed a 340,000-square-foot lease for warehouse space at the 20-acre Virginia Inland Port Logistics Center in Front Royal, Va.
And the financing is there, too. Alan Mruvka’s StorageBlue landed $69 million in first-mortgage financing from the Union Labor Life Insurance Company (ULLICO) for its purchase of a three-asset self-storage portfolio in New Jersey and Staten Island from American Self Storage.
But multifamily, on the other hand…
Like industrial, one of the safer real estate categories throughout the pandemic has been multifamily (and its close cousin, single-family rental). Everyone has invested in it. Everyone (or so it seems) has made money from it.
But … is it so unassailable?
Yes, we’re still seeing big sales like Carroll and PGIM Real Estate’s $885.5 million sale of 12 properties to Clarion Partners and Blackfin Real Estate Investors.
But we learned this week in a report from property data firm ATTOM that profit margins on three-bedroom single-family home rentals are declining, and ballooning construction and acquisition costs are overtaking rents.
Something to ponder as you spend your Sunday in open houses batting down other bidders on your own custom inflationary hedge.
See you next week!
Proptech company Cove, which integrates tenant experience and building operating systems for commercial real estate properties, closed a funding round this week led by Blackstone Innovations Investments. The round, which also included money from security firm Kastle Systems, closed at $10 million, according to sources familiar with the deal.
Washington, D.C.-based Cove recently partnered with EQ Office, a Blackstone portfolio company, to implement technology in select buildings that include the iconic Willis Tower in downtown Chicago. The product will roll out to more properties this summer.
“Partnering with Blackstone as the preeminent real estate investor will help us grow our platform, reach greater scale and continue to innovate the digital layer of what’s next in the industry,” Adam Segal, founder and chief executive of Cove, said in a statement.
The tech platform allows tenants to register guests, book amenities, lease flex office space, and submit work orders directly to property managers. The company was founded in 2013 and had previously received funding from Second Century Ventures.
“We have found a company that we believe can help landlords shape the future of work,” John Fitzpatrick, chief technology officer of alternative asset management technology at Blackstone, said in a statement.
David Nusbaum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EQ Office has made not one but two new senior leadership appointments, Commercial Observer can first report. The Blackstone office portfolio company has named Alex Vouvalides as chief executive officer, and Josh Hatfield as chief operating officer, with both positions effective June 6.
The two succeed Frank Campbell — EQ’s COO and interim CEO — who is retiring after 26 years at the workplace-experience-focused firm.
“EQ Office has a deep and rich history, and I am honored to join such a talented team during a pivotal moment in the industry,” Vouvalides said. “At a time when the borders between work and life are blurring, EQ’s commitment to enhancing the entire tenant experience at its properties stands out.”
“Today is an exciting day for both EQ Office and Blackstone as we welcome two exceptional leaders who possess the experience and acumen needed to lead the next chapter of EQ,” said Rob Harper, head of real estate asset management Americas at Blackstone. “We are confident in the future demand for high-quality offices, and Alex and Josh are the ideal leaders to drive the evolution of EQ’s customer-focused approach.”
Vouvalides and Hatfield join EQ from Eagle Point Capital Partners, the real estate investment firm they co-founded in 2021 focused on acquiring, developing and operating office properties in high-growth, tech-anchored markets.
Combined, they bring almost four decades of experience in real estate investment and operations to the table at EQ. Their working relationship stems back to 2014 when they were both in senior leadership positions at Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP).
Vouvalides most recently served as HPP’s COO and chief investment officer, responsible for leading the company’s strategy, overseeing its investment activity and running its leasing and development departments. Hatfield was executive vice president of operations, overseeing 250 professionals serving 1,000 tenants across HPP’s 20 million-square-foot portfolio.
“I am excited about the opportunity to build on EQ’s momentum as a client-focused real estate investor and operator with a mission to help companies attract, retain, and inspire talent, and I am thrilled to grow the platform alongside my longtime colleague and friend,” Vouvalides said.
Vouvalides said that he and Hatfield share a “team-first mentality and entrepreneurial spirit that I am confident will resonate well with the EQ team and enable us to deliver for our clients and the communities we serve.”
Founded by Sam Zell in 1976 as Equity Office Properties, Blackstone acquired EQ in 2007. Today, the company works hand-in-hand with business leaders— from Fortune 100 companies to emerging startups— to design effective workplaces. Its mission is to help companies attract, retain, and inspire talent — more key than ever with a workforce in flux following the pandemic— with its projects also reflecting its unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability.
Earlier this week, EQ announced the completion of its $500 million street-to-sky transformation of Chicago’s 110-story Willis Tower — which it acquired for $1.3 billion in 2015 in the priciest deal for one property outside of New York City at the time. The redevelopment created approximately 450 jobs as EQ executed its vision for an all-season urban destination that also allowed Willis Tower to achieve LEED Platinum status — making it the largest building in the U.S. to have done so.
In December, it unveiled its redevelopment of 800 Fifth in Seattle, expected to be completed shortly. The design-forward reconfiguration of the office building includes a heightened focus on health and wellness, with top-tier amenities to draw people back as a hub of activation in the city. Having also earned LEED Platinum certification, 800 Fifth is one of Seattle’s most efficient buildings.
As Vouvalides and Hatfield settle into their new seats, Campbell is extending his tenure by three months to facilitate a smooth transition for the new leaders.
“I am confident EQ is in good hands with Alex and Josh at the helm, and I am proud to have worked alongside such an amazing group of people over the past 26 years,” Campbell said. “I look forward to seeing the company’s continued success.”
Harper tipped his hat to Campbell for his decades-long contributions to the firm: “He has made a lasting impact on the people and culture at EQ and has been an invaluable partner to Blackstone. On behalf of everyone at Blackstone, we wish him all the best in retirement.”
CenterPoint Properties paid $170.1 million for an Amazon-leased industrial complex in Miramar, Fla., property records show.
Completed in 2000, the park, which sits on 44 acres, includes three buildings totaling over 700,000 square feet.
The largest building — at 3701 Flamingo Road between Miramar Parkway and Ronald Reagan Turnpike — is leased to Amazon and spans 500,000 square feet. The two other properties are situated three miles away at 2601 and 2701 SW 145th Avenue.
In all, the complex is fully leased to six tenants, according to the Illinois-based buyer.
“We are seeing rental rate growth that is unprecedented and seems poised to continue, given the high barriers to entry and lack of industrial land,” P.J. Charlton, CenterPoint’s senior vice president of investments, said in a statement.
The trade marks an almost $100 million return for the seller, Blackstone-affiliate Revantage. It bought the two smallest warehouses for a combined $12.6 million in 2003 and the largest property for $59.5 million in 2015, per records.
CBRE’s Jose Lobon, Trey Barry, Frank Fallon and Royce Rose represented the seller. A representative for the seller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
CenterPoint has snapped up industrial properties across South Florida over the past two years as e-commerce skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic. Last year, it acquired an industrial complex in Hialeah for $184 million and earlier this year dropped $48 million for a last-mile parking lot near Miami.
Other real estate players are zeroing in on South Florida’s industrial market as well.
Another Blackstone affiliate, Link Logistics, proposed building a complex that would cost an estimated $700 million in Miami Gardens last month. Only three miles away, Bridge Industrial is building an additional two warehouses at Bridge Point Commerce Center, after scoring a $153 million construction loan.
Julia Echikson can be reached at email@example.com.