Birch Group paying $380M for large Jersey City office

Mack-Cali in contract to sell the 1.2M sf building along Hudson River

Birch Group paying $380M for large Jersey City office
Birch Group President Mark Meisner and 101 Hudson Street in Jersey City, NJ (The Birch Group, Google Maps)

Mack-Cali Realty is selling another office property, agreeing to unload a waterfront Jersey City complex for $380 million.

The 1.2 million-square-foot building at 101 Hudson Street counts AIG among its biggest tenants, after the firm leased 230,000 square feet last year. Real Estate Weekly first reported the news of the pending sale. Mack-Cali bought the building in 2014 for $329 million.

Mack-Cali recently took out a $400 million loan and credit facility from JPMorgan Chase on the property, financing that may be paid down with proceeds from the in-contract sale.

Mack-Cali has seen an occupancy rate above 75 percent for its waterfront office portfolio amid the continuing pandemic-related challenges. In the first quarter of this year, the REIT inked leases for 75,000 square feet in its waterfront properties, including 51,000 square feet of new leases, according to the report.

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The latest deal for the Hudson Street properties goes against its recent strategy, however. Mack-Cali has been moving out of the suburban office market, having sold $549 million in properties so far this year. Instead, it has turned to investing in waterfront assets and the multifamily market.

This isn’t the first deal between Mack-Cali and Birch this year. In April, the REIT sold an office portfolio in Short Hills, New Jersey, to Birch for $255 million. That sale included four buildings spanning 843,300 square feet, many of those tenants are big financial companies.

Birch is a privately-held commercial real estate firm based in Nanuet, New York. It has been making a suburban office push, particularly in the Garden State. In July, the company acquired a two-building office portfolio of 200,000 square feet in Princeton for $47.3 million. The seller was BentallGreenOak.

[REW] — Holden Walter-Warner