GE @ The Banks Sells for $107M in Cincinnati

The tower was snapped up by 90 North Real Estate Partners of London, alongside Kuwait-based Kamco Investment.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

GE at The Banks, Cincinnati
GE at The Banks, Cincinnati

Cincinnati—London-based 90 North Real Estate Partners has snapped up a minority stake in General Electric @ The Banks, the 338,000-square-foot office tower that serves as home to General Electric’s Global Operations Center, at The Banks master-planned community in downtown Cincinnati. 90 North and Kuwait-based majority partner Kamco Investment Co. acquired the trophy property from Carter, developer of The Banks, for $107 million.

It’s a brand-new, fully leased premier property with a premier tenant in a premier suburban marketand it fits like a glove with 90 North’s strategy. Opportunities such as the GE asset, however, don’t come along every day. “Ultimately it is about relationships and track record. It is always challenging to find deals that meet our investment criteria and offer a strong potential for return,” Daniel Cooper, head of 90 North’s North American operations, told Commercial Property Executive. “The secondary markets sometimes offer more options, but there are inherent challenges in also finding strong credit tenants, modern construction and the other requirements that help create a strong long-term value.”

Carter delivered GE’s Rule Joy Trammell Rubio-designed build-to-suit office, carrying the address of 191 Rosa Parks St., in September at a cost of approximately $90 million. GE signed on to occupy the 12-story tower for 15 years under a lease agreement featuring five five-year renewal options.

90 North played a dual role in the transaction, having also served as Kamco’s advisor in the purchase of General Electric @ The Banks, which was marketed by Eastdil Secured on Carter’s behalf. And JLL’s Capital Markets Debt & Equity group orchestrated acquisition financing, securing a $64.4 million permanent financing loan through Principal Real Estate Investors. The partners will rely on commercial real estate services firm CBRE to provide property management services at the GE building.

Both Kamco and 90 North are following game plans centered on investment in the U.S. real estate market. As noted in a second quarter report by CBRE, “In addition to safety, the U.S. remains attractive for international capital due to its ongoing economic expansion, healthy property fundamentals, higher asset yields, lower long-term return volatility and the opportunity for scale.”

Kamco initiated a U.S. investment plan at the beginning of 2016, and 90 North counts General Electric @ The Banks as one of a handful of purchases it has made this year. The company acquired Lash Group’s 250,000-square-foot headquarters in suburban Charlotte, N.C., for $67.1 million, and scooped up the Saint Gobain North American Headquarters outside Philadelphia for $123 million. It’s all about secondary markets for 90 North.

“Many large investors tend to focus on core markets, which creates a highly competitive environment that drives prices upward. What many outsiders do not realize is that 30 to 60 percent of large, long term offices leases signed by Fortune 500 companies are in the suburbs,” Cooper said. “By focusing on secondary markets, we can secure high quality assets at competitive pricing and provide a higher yield for our investors.”