Markland Acquires 47 Citibank Branches in $100M Sale-Leaseback

An Irish investment group, which market sources have pegged as Markland Holdings Ltd., has acquired 47 Citibank branches in the New York City metropolitan area for $100 million.  The portfolio includes a 156,300-square-foot combination of bank branches and offices, and is leased to Citigroup Global Markets Inc. for 15 years. The properties range in size from 2,000 to 8,000 square feet and are located in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, as well as Westchester, Suffolk (pictured) and Nassau counties. “These were triple-net leases with annual increases, and investors want safety, security and good credit,” Ken Zakin, senior managing director with Newmark Knight Frank’s capital group, told CPN. “We don’t see a lot of high-quality net lease product in the New York metropolitan region. The dispersion of risk across the portfolio was also very attractive.”  That said, the portfolio garnered a lot of interest from different investment groups, including international buyers, 1031 and net lease investors, New York-based investors and unsuccessful bidders in Citigroup’s last disposition of 23 New York metropolitan assets in June 2007. Borja Sierra, executive managing director of Savills Granite, said that the deal also reinforces how offshore investors are still eyeing large-scale deals in the United States. Savills Granite represented the buyer, while Newmark Knight Frank represented Citigroup in the transaction. The portfolio disposition is the latest in Citigroup’s efforts to sell off its real estate assets and redeploy its capital into its operating business.