Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sales: GE closes suburban Blackstone deal, and only flips one. Meanwhile, other buildings taken off the market

As expected, it did not take long for GE to close on its acquisition of the suburban portion of the Blackstone properties acquired in the EOP deal. Unlike other deals, only one property was flipped, and that was because it was in Bannockburn, which is outside GE's target property area. It is nice to see that GE is looking at a mid-term hold on these buildings. They have high occupancy and should remain that way.

Meanwhile, back downtown, two different JVs led by John Buck Co. and Golub & Co. have pulled office buildings off the market after negotiations with two California based companies to acquire 200 W. Monroe and 225 W. Washington. Crain's reports that the Buck deal had a signed LOI (glossary: "letter of intent" -- usually but not always non-binding) but pulled out anyway. Perhaps both sellers were not getting the returns they expected.

What stuck out in this story the most is a quote from Zara Younan, principal of the eponymous Younan Properties, Inc., the prospective buyer in the Buck deal (the Golub buyer was supposedly Triple Net Properties, LLC, and I've been on both sides of deals with them). According to Younan, when discussing prices based on current higher debt rates, “If you are not getting the debt right, it’s probably too pricey in the first place.”

Write that last sentence down on a Post-It and stick it on your monitor, refrigerator or anywhere you will see it multiple times a day.