U.S. to Remain Key Focus of Tel Aviv-based Clal Insurance’s CRE Expansion

Tel Aviv-headquartered Clal Insurance Group, Israel's leading insurance, pension and financial services concern, has been busy building up its real estate portfolio in Israel and beyond, and the company has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
Harper Court, Chicago

Harper Court, Chicago

Tel Aviv-headquartered Clal Insurance Group, Israel’s leading insurance, pension and financial services concern, has been busy building up its real estate portfolio in Israel and beyond, and the company has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. On the heels of its recent purchase of the 225,000-square-foot Harper Court mixed-use office complex in Chicago, Clal reveals that the U.S. will continue to be high on its radar for acquisitions going forward.

In July, Clal, operating through its U.S. subsidiary, Clal U.S. Management, bought the Harper Court office and retail complex in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood for $112 million in a sale-leaseback with the property’s sole office occupant, the University of Chicago. “The Chicago deal represents a leap upward in Clal Insurance’s real estate activity,” Amir Shostak, head of real estate in Canaf, Clal’s investment wing, stated in a press release. The company describes the acquisition as a deal that solidifies the real estate sector as a vital part of its investment pursuits.

The Harper Court transaction followed Clal’s 2013 joint venture purchase of a 49 percent ownership stake in Chicago’s 1.2 million-square-foot One South Wacker office building for $221 million, marking the insurer’s debut in the U.S. market. But it’s not just Chicago that is of interest to Clal; it’s the entire country.

In March, making entrée into the U.S.’s multi-family market, Clal snapped up Edgewater, N.J.’s brand new, 100-unit Infinity Apartments in a joint venture with Waterton Associates L.L.C. for $48 million. And acting again in a joint venture with Waterton, Clal acquired the 334-unit 75 Tresser apartment community in Stamford, Conn., for $120.5 million earlier this week.

Looking ahead, Shostak added, Clal will continue to train its eye on U.S. assets “in the field of commercial and residential rentals.” Outside the U.S., Clal plans to target retail and commercial properties in Israel, and office properties in Great Britain.

The speed at which Clal has been buying properties is indicative of the company’s strong commitment to enhancing its real estate portfolio. The transactions Clal has completed since the beginning of 2013 account for approximately 40 percent of the company’s total real estate holdings.