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  • Top destinations for office investment: New York City, Boston and Los Angeles
  • Largest single-asset sale of the year: AXA Equitable Center in Manhattan trades for $1.9B
  • Asian investment accounts for 15% of the year’s top 50 office deals
  • Blackstone crowned most active office buyer of 2016

According to a new analysis released by our sister company COMMERCIALCafé, the U.S. office market had a busy year in 2016. Though leasing and sales activity took something of a breather in the past year, cooling down from the highs of 2015, there was no shortage of record-breaking or newsworthy office deals. With the help of Yardi Matrix data, COMMERCIALCafé compiled a list of the top 50 largest office deals in the U.S. to close in 2016:

#AddressCityDollar amountBuyerSeller
1Parkway Properties portfolio - 19 assetscross-market$1,950,000,000Cousins PropertiesParkway Properties
2787 7th AvenueNew York$1,932,900,000CalPERSAXA Financial
3388 Greenwich Street & 390 Greenwich StreetNew York$1,767,913,114CitigroupSL Green Realty
4Alecta US Multisector portfolio - 21 assetscross-market$1,700,000,000Blackstone GroupAlecta
51285 Avenue of the AmericasNew York$1,649,000,000RXR Realty + China LifeAXA Financial
623 assetscross-market$1,500,000,000VentasWexford Science & Technology
7550 Madison AvenueNew York$1,400,000,000The Olayan GroupThe Chetrit Group
810880, 10940, 10960 Wilshire & 1100 Glendon AvenueLos Angeles$1,340,000,000Douglas Emmett + Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)Equity Office Properties Trust
915 assetscross-market$1,162,000,000Equity Office Properties TrustHines Interests
101095 Avenue of the AmericasNew York$1,152,970,000Hong Kong Monetary AuthorityIvanhoe Cambridge + Callahan Capital Partners
1163 Madison Avenue & 200 Madison AvenueNew York$1,150,000,000JamestownGeorge Comfort & Sons + Loeb Partners Realty
121221 Avenue of the AmericasNew York$1,030,000,000China Investment CorporationCanada Pension Plan Investment Board
13108 assetscross-market$969,000,000Workspace Property Trust + Safanad + Square Mile CapitalLiberty Property Trust
141211 Avenue Of The AmericasNew York$913,623,081Ivanhoe CambridgeBeacon Capital Partners
1534 assetscross-market$837,900,000Starwood Capital GroupNorthStar Realty Finance
161150, 1201 and 1251 State St. & 3661 N. Plano RoadDallas$825,000,000Transwestern Investment Group + Mirae Asset Global Investments State Farm Auto Insurance Company
175 Times SquareNew York$800,000,000RXR RealtyDavid Werner Real Estate
181 Kendall SquareBoston$725,000,000Alexandria Real Estate EquitiesDivcoWest
197 assetscross-market$704,000,000New York State Common Retirement FundMetLife
201 New York PlazaNew York$700,000,000China Investment CorporationBrookfield Property Partners
213 Blackfan CircleBoston$630,424,951Blackstone GroupBioMed Realty Trust
221250 BroadwayNew York$565,000,000Global HoldingsJamestown
237 West 34th StreetNew York$561,000,000Korea PostVornado Realty Trust
24693 5th AvenueNew York$525,000,000FimalacThor Equities
251 Front StreetSan Francisco$521,000,000Paramount GroupInvesco Real Estate
26200 South Biscayne BlvdMiami$516,600,000Ponte GadeaJP Morgan Asset Management
27Colorado Center - buildings A, B,C, D, E, FSanta Monica$511,100,000Boston PropertiesBlackstone Group
28555 and 575 Market StreetSan Francisco$510,000,000Equity Office Properties TrustJohn Hancock Real Estate
2911 Madison AvenueNew York$480,000,000PGIM Real EstateSL Green Realty
30330 North Wabash AvenueChicago$467,500,000Beacon Capital PartnersRiverview Realty Partners + Five Mile Capital Partners
31850 3rd AvenueNew York$463,000,000MHP Real Estate Services + HNAShorenstein
32885 3rd AvenueNew York$453,000,000Ceruzzi Properties + Shanghai Municipal Investment USASL Green Realty
33101 Seaport BlvdBoston$452,000,000Union Investment Real EstateSkanska
3412181 - 12121 West Bluff Creek DriveLos Angeles$428,900,000Edward J. Minskoff EquitiesJP Morgan Asset Management
35175 N Street NE & 150 M Street NEWashington$422,000,000MetLife Real Estate Investment + Norges Bank Real Estate ManagementStonebridgeCarras + Walton Street Capital
36501 West 30th StreetNew York$420,000,000Allianz Real Estate of AmericaRelated Companies
373000 Olympic BlvdSanta Monica$403,000,500Brightstone Capital PartnersJamestown
3858 assetscross-market$398,100,000Och Ziff Capital Management GroupBrandywine Realty Trust
391001 4th AvenueSeattle$387,000,000GLL Real Estate Partners + Vestas Investment ManagementCalPERS
40760 Market StreetSan Francisco$374,000,000Main Place Liberty GroupThor Equities
412001 8th AvenueSeattle$370,000,000Deutsche Asset ManagementAEW Capital Management
422700 Colorado AvenueSanta Monica$367,648,000OracleInvesco Real Estate
432970 Market StreetPhiladelphia$354,000,000Korea Investment Management CompanyBrandywine Realty Trust
446501 Legacy DrivePlano$353,000,000Dreien Opportunity PartnersJCPenney
45655 15th Street NWWashington$352,750,000Blackstone GroupBoston Properties + New York State Common Retirement Fund
46505 Howard StreetSan Francisco$350,000,000American Realty AdvisorsTishman Speyer
47700 Hidden Ridge Drive & 600 Hidden Ridge DriveIrving$344,000,000Mesirow FinancialVerizon
48321 North Clark StreetChicago$340,100,000Diversified Real Estate CapitalHines Interests
4951-65 Furman StNew York$340,000,000CIM Group + Kushner Companies + LIVWRKJehovah's Witnesses
5014200 Shady Grove RdRockville$337,499,900GI PartnersBioMed Realty

NYC Still Main Target for Office Investment; Boston, LA Complete the Top 3

The New York City office investment market continues to top the list of most attractive destinations for both national and offshore investors, accounting for $16.3 billion out of the top 50 largest deals–which totaled $37.2 billion. The Big Apple was home to 18 out of the 50 largest office deals, largely focused on properties in Manhattan. Nonetheless, one Brooklyn sale also made the list: the $340 million sale of the Jehovah’s Witnesses headquarters at 30 Columbia Heights.

787 Seventh Avenue Trades in Largest Single-Asset Sale of the Year

787 7th Ave., New York City (via 787nyc.com)
787 7th Ave., New York City (via 787nyc.com)

The largest office sale in New York City in 2016 and the priciest single-asset transaction overall was the $1.93 billion trade of the AXA Equitable Center at 787 7th Ave. in Manhattan. The 51-story tower was acquired by pension fund CalPERS from AXA Financial, for a hefty $1,179 per square foot.

Boston, Los Angeles Markets Fetch Top Dollar in 2016

1 Kendall Square, Boston (via Yardi Matrix)
1 Kendall Square, Boston (via Yardi Matrix)

Boston’s office market emerged as the second destination of choice for investors in 2016, with 3 assets fetching a total of $1.8 billion on the top 50 list: 1 Kendall Square, 3 Blackfan Circle and 101 Seaport Blvd. Following close by was Los Angeles, with 2 office deals totaling $1.76 billion: the $1.34 billion portfolio sale of 10880, 10940 and 10960 Wilshire Blvd. and 1100 Glendon Ave., followed by the sale of The Bluffs at Playa Vista.

Asian Investment Accounts for 15% of the Top 50 Largest Deals

Seven out of the top 50 office deals of 2016 were closed by Asian buyers, per the COMMERCIALCafé study, accounting for 15% of the sales volume. European investors closed 5 deals totaling $2.28 billion, while Canada-based Ivanhoe Cambridge made one acquisition worth $914 million at 1211 Avenue of the Americas. Mixed foreign and national entities and joint ventures closed 9 office deals totaling $7 billion in 2016, signaling that the U.S. market is becoming increasingly attractive to offshore investors looking for stable returns. Some of the largest transactions of the year included China Life’s $1.64 billion acquisition of 1285 Avenue of the Americas, in partnership with RXR Realty and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s $1.15 billion purchase of 3 Bryant Park, both in New York City.

Blackstone Steals the Spotlight—Again; Private Equity Giant Lands Major Deals in 2016

3 Blackfan Circle, Boston (via Yardi Matrix)
3 Blackfan Circle, Boston (via Yardi Matrix)

On top of being the most active office player on the Los Angeles office sales market, the Blackstone Group also emerged as the most active office buyer on COMMERCIALCafé‘s top 50 list. The company closed 5 separate office deals–2 of them through affiliate Equity Office–for a total of $4.35 billion across the U.S. The most notable deals checked off by Blackstone in 2016 include the $1.7 billion, 21-asset deal with Alecta, the $1.16 billion acquisition of Hines REIT’s West Coast portfolio, and the $630 million purchase of the Center for Life Science in Boston.

Read the full COMMERCIALCafé analysis here.

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