Hines REIT Seals $1.1B Deal with Blackstone

The REIT will sell an approximately 3 million-square-foot office portfolio to a Blackstone affiliate as part of its liquidation plan.

By Scott Baltic, Contributing Editor

Howard Hughes Center, Los Angeles

Howard Hughes Center, Los Angeles

Houston—Hines Real Estate Investment Trust Inc., one of three public non-listed REITs sponsored by Hines, plans to undertake its liquidation and dissolution, primarily through the cash sale, for $1.162 billion, of a portfolio of office assets, Hines has announced. The buyer of the office portfolio, consisting of seven properties on the West Coast, will be BRE Hydra Property Owner LLC, an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII.

The plan, which at the moment remains subject to stockholder approval, “takes advantage of the current strong demand for high-quality assets by institutional buyers,” according to Hines.

The West Coast portfolio totals about 3 million square feet of office space and comprises Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles; Daytona Buildings in Redmond, Wash.; Laguna Buildings in Redmond, Wash.; 5th and Bell in Seattle; 2100 Powell in Emeryville, Calif.; 2851 Junction Ave. in San Jose; and 1900 and 2000 Alameda in San Mateo, Calif. In addition to stockholder approval of the liquidation plan,this transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, although there is no financing contingency.

Other Hines REIT properties to be liquidated include Chase Tower in Dallas, 321 N. Clark in Chicago and a grocery-anchored retail portfolio primarily in the Southeast.

“When we first launched Hines REIT in 2003, it was structured as a perpetual life vehicle, much like many institutional funds,” Sherri Schugart, president & CEO of Hines REIT, said in a prepared statement. “Impacts from the great recession caused us to close the fund to new investors in 2009, so we began considering other options that could provide the best opportunities for enhancing stockholder value through the following economic recovery.

“By making strategic asset sales and redeploying proceeds into Class A West Coast office properties over the last several years,” Schugart continued, “we’ve been able to add to the overall quality and concentration of our portfolio, sustain attractive distributions to investors, and increase our net asset value per share.”

Blackstone declined to comment on the transaction, and Hines did not respond to Commercial Property Executive’s request for additional information.

The Eastdil Secured group of Wells Fargo Securities LLC acted as financial advisor to Hines REIT, and Robert A. Stanger & Co. provided certain financial advisory services to the board of directors.

Image courtesy of Hines

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