Manulife US REIT completes $157 mil purchase of New Jersey property

By Angela Teo
/ The Edge Property |
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Manulife US real estate investment trust (REIT) has bought 500 Plaza Drive in New Jersey, at a purchase price of US$115 million ($157 million). This move boosts the REIT’s portfolio valuation by 13.9% to US$950.2 million. With 461,525 sq ft of net lettable area, the 11-storey Class A office building pushes the REIT’s total NLA up by 25.9%, to 2,245,473 sq ft.
Amenities within the property include a five-storey atrium lobby, an executive conference centre, a high-end fitness centre, building-wide Wi-Fi connectivity, and a café and lounge.
Situated in Secaucus, New Jersey, the freehold office block is connected to midtown Manhattan through public transport nodes – bus and train – and is just three miles from New York City via the Lincoln Tunnel. The property’s location is seen as a quality and cost-effective alternative to Manhattan’s office submarket, says the REIT.
500 Plaza Drive
Source: Manulife US REIT
The property has a high occupancy rate of 98.9%, and a weighted average lease expiry (WALE) of 9.2 years based on secured leases as at March 31. It’s therefore, set to increase the REIT portfolio’s income, and reduce the risks the REIT faces across property cycles in the US. According to the REIT, Distribution per unit (DPU) for FY2016 will increase by 2.3% from 3.55 US cents to 3.63 US cents after the purchase.
500 Plaza underwent major refurbishment in 2015 and 2016 at a cost of more than US$16 million, which saw amenities improved and finishes and grounds substantially upgraded.
Other assets in Manulife US REIT’s portfolio include Figueroa in Downtown Los Angeles, Peachtree in Midtown Atlanta and Michelson in Orange County. These properties are said to have produced strong and visible income growth for the REIT.

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