The manager of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund and the asset management arm of insurer MetLife have bought an office building in the US for $825.1m (€695m).

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the NOK12trn (€1.1trn) Government Pension Fund Global, and MetLife Investment Management (MIM) have acquired One Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts from Oxford Properties and a fund advised by JP Morgan Global Alternatives.

According to data provider CoStar, the transaction represents the largest single-asset US office transaction from January 2021 to date.

One Memorial Drive is a fully-let 17-storey office building located on the Charles River with 409,422sqft of leasable space. The building was built in 1986 and renovated in 2018.

The transaction is the latest joint venture between MIM and NBIM, building on a program established in 2013 to invest in Class A office properties in key US markets.

Robert Merck, global head of real estate and agriculture at MetLife Investment Management, said: “We continue to see significant areas of opportunity within the commercial real estate sector despite the challenges posed by the pandemic over the last 18 months.

“We are delighted to have once again partnered with Norges Bank Investment Management on a landmark transaction for the US commercial real estate market, one which we believe will create strong value in the years to come.”

Sara Queen, the head of real estate equity at MetLife Investment Management, said: “The One Memorial Drive transaction reinforces our approach of targeting properties in strategic geographies and markets, as well as our commitment to environmental sustainability across our real estate portfolio.”

Ashleigh R Simpson, regional head of acquisitions and joint ventures at MetLife Investment Management, said: “One Memorial Drive reflects our continued strategy to pursue top commercial real estate assets in highly coveted markets.

“Located in a city where demand for office space significantly outstrips supply, and with reliable tenants in resilient industries such as technology and life sciences, we believe One Memorial Drive will be a trophy property within our portfolio.”

Chad Remis, executive VP, North America, Oxford Properties, said: “We acquired this property with high conviction in the market’s growth potential and an intention to enhance its value through our direct management capabilities.

“We took a creative approach to developing additional office space at the asset through the conversion of excess parking in the boutique tower, as well as securing long-term renewals by providing first-class service to the building’s customers.” 

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