Boston Properties’ $440M Office Purchase Wraps Up Macklowe Deal

Just a day after announcing the closing of two New York City office building acquisitions from Macklowe Properties totaling $705 million, Boston Properties has completed its purchase of yet another Macklowe trophy office building, 125 West 55th St. The acquisition of 125 West 55th St. was part of a $3.95 billion, four-property portfolio purchase agreement Boston Properties and partners made with debt-ridden Macklowe earlier this year. To get its hands on the 591,000-square-foot Midtown Manhattan tower that Macklowe developed in 1989, Boston Properties agreed to a purchase price of $440 million, including the assumption of $263.5 million in debt with a weighted-average fixed interest rate of 6.31 percent. Boston Properties made the buy via a joint venture involving Dubai-based private equity firm Meraas Capital L.L.C. and US Real Estate Opportunities I, a partnership managed by Goldman Sachs. Also referred to as Avenue of the Americas Plaza, the 23-story building at 125 West 55th was designed by the architectural firm of Edward Larrabee Barnes & Associates, and stretches from 55th St. to 56th St. between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Ave. Boston Properties, which will oversee property management and leasing activities at the building, has a 60 percent ownership stake in the joint venture. The two other acquisitions Boston Properties et al just wrapped up are the 39-story 540 Madison Ave. and the 44-story Two Grand Central Tower, accounting fro 292,000 square feet and 664,000 square feet of Class A office space, respectively. The fourth building in the four-structure deal–which is allowing Macklowe, burdened with subprime loan market issues, to pay down its $7 billion in financing debt secured for its acquisition of an Equity Office Properties Trust portfolio–is the General Motors Building. Located at 767 Fifth Ave., the 2 million-square-foot property fetched a record-breaking $2.8 billion. Boston Properties hasn’t just been busy snapping up New York City buildings. The REIT announced that subsidiary Boston Properties L.P. has priced an offering of $650 million aggregate principal amount of exchangeable senior notes due 2014 with a 3.625 percent coupon. Boston Properties plans to use the offering’s net proceeds, estimated at just over $636 million, to pay the cost of a capped call transaction, repay debt–and to pursue development, acquisition and other investment endeavors. Headquartered in Beantown, Boston Properties is a fully integrated self-managed REIT that acquires, develops, operates and manages a portfolio consisting primarily of Class A office assets and a single hotel property. The company, one of the largest Class A office property owners and developers in the United States, focuses on the Boston, Midtown Manhattan, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Princeton, N.J., markets. Boston Properties stock opened today at $97.25. New York City-based Macklowe, founded in the mid-1960s by leading real estate industry player Harry Macklowe, also acquires and develops properties. The company’s portfolio encompasses approximately 10 million square feet of office space and 900 apartment units.