Prime Finance Lends $74M for Sale of Mack-Cali’s Last NJ Office Portfolio

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Prime Finance has supplied $74.2 million of acquisition financing for First Mile Properties’ purchase of a New Jersey office portfolio from Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, Commercial Observer has learned.

The loan from San Francisco-based Prime Finance helped Mack-Cali execute the $84 million sale of its 639,490-square-foot River Centre office complex in Red Bank, N.J., to First Mile, a suburban affiliate of Crown Acquisitions of New York. River Centre was Mack-Cali’s last suburban office portfolio.

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A Cushman & Wakefield capital markets team led by Andy Merin, alongside David Bernhaut, Gary Gabriel, Frank DiTommaso and Seth Zuidema arranged the transaction, along with support from local leasing experts Kevin Carton and Todd Elfand. The brokerage’s equity, debt and structured finance team of John Alascio, Alex Hernandez, Chuck Kohaut and TJ Sullivan spearheaded the acquisition financing on behalf of First Mile Properties.

“The sale of River Centre marks another important milestone and takes us one step closer to successfully completing the disposition of our suburban office portfolio,” Mack-Cali CEO Mahbod Nia said in a statement. “We remain focused on concluding the remaining asset sales to meet our objectives of streamlining the business.”

Prime Finance did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the transaction.

The sale of the Red Bank office portfolio follows Mack-Cali unloading its Short Hills, N.J., office portfolio to The Birch Group for $255 million in April as well as a Metropark portfolio in Middlesex County to Opal Holdings for $254 million in March. The Jersey City-based firm now has about $166 million of remaining suburban office assets to sell in the next year as part of a goal to strengthen its balance sheet.

“We strongly believe in the future of the suburban office market,” said Toby Yedid, a partner at First Mile Properties. “We are very tenant-centric and we are going to focus on the tenant experience to help lease up the property.”

Located at 331 Newman Springs Road, the 1984-built, Class A office complex comprises six buildings — one of which was recently renovated into dedicated amenity space featuring a fitness center, tenant lounge, cafe and outdoor area. The portfolio is currently 66 percent leased with Trihawk Capital, Scarinci Hollenbeck, Diversant, and Becker & Poliakoff among its tenants.

“Our team previously sold nearly forty percent of the River Centre properties to Mack-Cali, who did a fantastic job in updating select common areas throughout the portfolio, in addition to creating a fully-dedicated amenity building to serve the campus,” Merin said in a statement. “River Centre represents nearly half of all of the office inventory with a Red Bank address and future ownership has the opportunity to control a majority of the local market and continue to reposition the portfolio via additional capital investments and leasing strategies.”