Bluerock, Solutia in $42M St. Louis Office Sale-Leaseback

Bluerock Real Estate L.L.C. has purchased for $42.75 million a 260,000-square-foot office building belonging to chemical manufacturer Solutia in Town and Country, Mo., outside St. Louis. Solutia, whose headquarters is in St. Louis, will continue to occupy 120,000 square feet in the building under a 10-year renewable lease with Bluerock. The chemical company and its real estate advisor, Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, had begun marketing the building, at 575 Maryville Centre Drive, earlier this year. Pfizer Inc. and Savvis Inc. also lease space there. “Through this agreement, Solutia is able to free up cash to pay down debt and for our core business operations while keeping our headquarters at the current site through a long-term lease,” Solutia senior vice president & CFO James Sullivan said in a prepared statement. “Of the $42.75 million in proceeds, Solutia used approximately $19.5 million to pay off the current mortgage and the remainder for general corporate purposes.” That Solutia would want a sale-leaseback is perhaps not surprising. The company entered bankruptcy in December 2003 and emerged not quite four months ago. Solutia was spun off from parent company Monsanto in September 1997, but from the outset was saddled with potentially massive legacy environmental and retiree obligations. Solutia produces a wide range of chemicals, from aftermarket window films to aviation hydraulic fluid, and employs about 6,000 people. Bluerock Real Estate operates discretionary funds specializing in the acquisition and management of stabilized and value-added real estate, and has since 2004 has sponsored more than $750 million of office and apartment transactions.