Cleveland investor makes big NY entrance with $310M MetroTech buy

Boyd Watterson Asset Management acquiring properties from Brookfield

From left: Brian Gevry, chief executive officer, Boyd Watterson Asset Management; Bruce Flatt, chief executive officer, Brookfield Asset Management (Boyd Watterson Asset Management, Brookfield Asset Management, LoopNet)
From left: Brian Gevry, chief executive officer, Boyd Watterson Asset Management; Bruce Flatt, chief executive officer, Brookfield Asset Management (Boyd Watterson Asset Management, Brookfield Asset Management, LoopNet)

A Cleveland-based investor with a portfolio of government-leased properties is making a big splash in New York.

Boyd Watterson Asset Management is in contract with Brookfield Asset Management to buy Downtown Brooklyn’s 9 and 11 MetroTech Center, the home of the city’s high-tech 911 command center, for $310 million.

The two properties are leased to the NYPD, FDNY and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. Boyd Watterson’s purchase is for the leaseholds and is in cash, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Representatives for Boyd Watterson and Brookfield declined to comment.

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Evan Layne (left) and Brett Siegel (right), Newmark (Newmark)

The properties are ground-leased from the city in agreements that have more than 75 years remaining.

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Eleven MetroTech is the city’s primary crisis response facility and fields the city’s 911 calls. It also houses an operations center overseeing servers for more than 100 city agencies, according to marketing materials from Newmark, where a team led by Evan Layne and Brett Siegel brokered the sale.

“Together, the properties comprise the NYC Emergency Response Headquarters — 656,339 square feet of irreplaceable, mission-critical city infrastructure and operations facilities,” the materials say.

Translation: The tenant is probably not going anywhere.

The Newmark brokers declined to comment on the deal.

The buildings at 9 and 11 MetroTech were developed in the 1990s by Forest City Ratner, which Brookfield acquired in 2018 for $6.8 billion. Brookfield last year sold another property at the center — an office condo at 12 MetroTech Center — to a joint venture between 60 Guilders and the hedge fund Davidson Kempner for $128 million.

Boyd Watterson, meanwhile, is adding to its portfolio of government-leased properties.

The company, helmed by CEO Brian Gevry, focuses on properties leased to the federal government and its real estate arm, the General Services Administration, particularly around Washington, D.C.

The firm has more than $17 billion in assets under management, according to its website.