Norwegian Pension Fund Charges into U.S. Market via TIAA-CREF

Norges Bank Investment Management, manager of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, has entered into a $1.2 billion JV with TIAA-CREF and has at one stroke gained substantial interests in five Class A or boutique buildings on the East Coast.

Suzan Amato of TIAA-CREF

Norges Bank Investment Management, manager of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, has entered into a $1.2 billion joint venture with TIAA-CREF, of New York, and has at one stroke gained substantial interests in five Class A or boutique buildings on the East Coast, TIAA-CREF announced Monday. This is the first U.S. real estate investment for the fund.

The joint venture is currently invested in properties totaling 1.9 million square feet that TIAA-CREF already held in its portfolio, a TIAA-CREF spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. In addition, the JV partners plan to invest in further high-quality office properties in Boston, New York and Washington. TIAA-CREF owns a 50.1 percent share and will manage the joint venture; NBIM holds the remaining 49.9 percent share.

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global is invested in equity, fixed-income and real estate markets, with total assets of about $650 billion as of the end of September 2012.

“This partnership will allow us to take advantage of opportunities to invest in high-quality real estate that do not come to market frequently and to further diversify our portfolio,” Suzan Amato, TIAA-CREF’s head of global real estate strategic joint ventures, told CPE.

“NBIM is an excellent partner for us, as we share a similar approach to real estate investing: a long-term investment horizon and an emphasis on large, high-quality assets in gateway cities,” said Tom Garbutt, head of global real estate for TIAA-CREF. “Our relationship with NBIM extends our real estate investment platform at a time when we see compelling investment opportunities.”

The five buildings are:

* 33 Arch Street, a newly built 32-story, 603,300-square-foot, LEED Gold office building in Boston’s Financial District.

* 470 Park Avenue South, New York, an approximately 292,000-square-foot boutique office building in the Midtown South submarket. It occupies the full block front between 31st and 32nd streets on Park Avenue South.

* 475 Fifth Avenue, New York, a 24-story, 275,700-square-foot office building, built in 1925, at the southeast corner of 41st Street and Fifth Avenue. The property, directly across from the main entrance to the New York Public Library, is being redeveloped as a Class A office building.

* The Evening Star Building, 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C, one of only 13 privately owned office buildings between the White House and the U.S. Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue. Originally constructed in 1898 to house the Evening Star newspaper staff, and with its façade designated as an historic landmark, the building was renovated and expanded in 1989.

* Franklin Square, 1300 I Street, Washington, a 12-story, 464,000-square-foot Class A office building designed by Philip Johnson. The property is in the East End submarket between 14th Street and 13th Street Northwest at the foot of Franklin Square Park.

TIAA-CREF currently manages real estate investments on behalf of APG of the Netherlands and the Future Fund of Australia.

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