Blackstone Scores $2.7B CMBS Loan for PSB Purchase

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Private equity behemoth Blackstone has taken out a $2.73 billion loan to finance its acquisition of PS Business Parks, public mortgage documents show.

Blackstone, one of the country’s largest investment managers, paid $7.6 billion earlier this month for the Glendale, Calif.-based REIT whose portfolio spans 93 properties, serving approximately 4,800 tenants in 27 million square feet of space as of June. The national portfolio includes a range of industrial, office and flex properties in California, Texas, Northern Virginia and Miami, among other places.

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Nearly a quarter of the properties, 24 percent, are in Florida. The total collateral tied to the acquisition stands at $4.2 billion, which makes just over $1 billion attributable to Florida properties, per the mortgage document. 

The loan was issued by a consortium of banks, including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Société Générale as well as the real estate arms of CitiBank and Barclays.

Self-storage provider Public Storage, which is PSB’s largest shareholder, agreed to vote in favor of the acquisition, which was announced in April and closed July 20.

As remote work from abroad took off and evictions rose, the self-storage asset class thrived during the pandemic — a trend that’s likely to continue. 

The average rent of 10-foot-by-10-foot standard and climate-controlled self-storage units increased by 8 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively, annually in April, according to a report by Yardi Matrix, which tracks nearly 29,000 multiunit self-storage properties in major markets nationwide.

The April figures far outpaced those of 2018 and 2019, suggesting that self-storage rates could grow even more. 

For Blackstone, the PS Business Parks acquisition is the latest in a string of purchases. In April, it agreed to buy student-housing operator American Campus Communities for nearly $13 billion. Last year, the investor paid $2.8 billion for a portfolio of 124 logistics properties in the United States and Europe. 

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com.