GLOBAL – Norway's Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) has added to its new US property holdings by buying almost half of a 47-floor central Manhattan office block for $684m (€516m).

The NOK4.4trn (€515bn) sovereign wealth fund said it entered into a joint venture pact with US firm Boston Properties to buy 45% of the New York building for $684m, valuing the entire building at $1.5bn.

The seller, Boston Properties, is keeping a 55% interest in the property, and will manage it on behalf of the partnership, said Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the GPFG.

The property is known as Times Square Tower and occupies a full block between 41st and 42nd Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue.  

Developed by Boston Properties in 2004, it contains 1.24m ft2 (115,200m2) of rentable space.

The transaction is expected to close within the next 90 days, NBIM said.  

There is no debt on the property and no financing will be involved in the deal, it said.

In February, the GPFG bought a near 50% stake in five US office properties owned by TIAA-CREF.

The Norwegian fund has been building up exposure to real estate since the government allowed it to invest 5% of assets first in European property, then US property.

It has said it expects to take several years to reach this target because of the size of the fund.

At the end of June this year, its real estate investment holdings amounted to less than 1% of the fund's total assets.

In other news, Prologis, the owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate, announced that Prologis European Logistics Partners Sàrl (PELP) has acquired a 12,600sq2 distribution facility in Tongeren, Belgium.

PELP is a 50/50 joint venture between Prologis and NBIM.

With this acquisition, PELP's portfolio in Europe includes 207 logistics facilities.

Bram Verhoeven, vice-president at Prologis Benelux, said: "We continuously seek opportunities to expand our portfolio so we can offer a wide variety of top-quality facilities in the best locations across the Benelux.

"The acquisition of this class-A distribution facility is a good example of our strategy in action."