Mack-Cali’s $254M Metropark Portfolio Sale

The transaction, one of the largest office deals of its kind this year, aligns with the company’s strategy to divest non-core suburban New Jersey assets.
99 Wood Ave. South in Iselin, N.J., part of the Metropark Portfolio
99 Wood Ave. South in Iselin, N.J. Image courtesy of Mack-Cali Realty Corp.

Mack-Cali Realty Corp. continues shedding its suburban New Jersey office properties, selling its 945,906-square-foot Metropark portfolio in Edison, N.J., and Iselin, N.J., to Opal Holdings for $254 million. The disposition of the four office buildings is one of the largest suburban office transactions so far this year.

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The Class A office portfolio comprises 99 and 101 Wood Ave. South in Iselin and 333 and 343 Thornhall St. in Edison. The buildings are more than 90 percent leased to blue chip tenants including Ernst & Young, Investors Bank, Mizhou Securities and Hackensack Meridian Health. The properties have all benefited from recent capital improvement projects.

Mack-Cali CEO Mahbod Nia said in a prepared statement that the sale marks a key milestone in the REIT’s strategy of selling its non-core suburban office assets. The company has been selling non-core properties for several years now as it focuses on its Hudson River waterfront assets. Nia said Mack-Cali expects to “substantially complete” the sales strategy in the near future.

Ricardo Cardoso, Mack-Cali executive vice president & CIO, told the Commercial Observer the REIT expects to sell the remaining $520 million in suburban assets between the second quarter of this year and 2022. Cardoso, in a prepared statement, said Opal Holdings, a New York City-based commercial real estate investment firm, moved quickly to take the opportunity to expand its Metropark holdings. In August, Opal Holdings acquired a nine-story, 470,692-square-foot Class A office building at 194 Wood Ave. S. in Iselin for $140 million from AIG.

A Cushman & Wakefield New York Metropolitan Area Capital Markets team of Andy Merin, David Bernhaut, Gary Gabriel, Frank DiTommaso and Seth Zuidema led the transaction. They were joined by Adam Spies and Kevin Donner of Cushman & Wakefield’s New York Institutional Investment Sales team and leasing specialists Todd Elfand and Kevin Carton.

Merin, a Cushman & Wakefield executive vice chairman, said in a prepared statement the sale will potentially be one of the largest suburban office trades in New Jersey this year.

Earlier deals

In January, Mack-Cali sold 100 Overlook Center, a 158,200-square-foot Class A office property in Princeton, N.J., to the Cali Group. Streamline Realty Funding provided a $29.7 million, three-year acquisition loan, in a deal arranged by Cushman & Wakefield. Also in January, Mack-Cali sold 500 College Road in Princeton, a 160,000-square-foot office property, to Bergman Real Estate Group, in a joint venture with Hornig Capital Partners and Eightfold Real Estate Capital. JLL Capital Markets arranged a $14.1 million acquisition loan through Amherst Capital Management for the purchase. A month earlier, Mack-Cali disposed of 581 Main St., a 203,300-square-foot office property in Woodbridge Township, N.J. The asset was sold for $61 million to Plymouth Rock Group of Cos.