Veris Residential has taken one of the last big steps toward shedding its once-mighty New Jersey office portfolio.
The REIT formerly known as Mack-Cali Realty said this week that it struck deals to sell $766 million worth of office properties in Jersey City, including the 40-story, 1.3 million-square-foot tower at 101 Hudson Street for $346 million.
Veris did not identify the buyer, but sources told The Real Deal that the property’s new owner is Jersey City-based investor Mark Meisner’s Birch Group. SKW Funding provided preferred equity for the purchase.
Separately, Veris struck a deal to sell its three-building Harborside 1, 2 and 3 complex for $420 million. The buyer’s identity is not yet clear.
A Cushman & Wakefield team of Adam Spies and Andy Merin co-brokered the Harborside deal with CBRE’s Jeff Dunne. Cushman arranged the 101 Hudson Street deal.
With the two deals, multifamily properties now account for 98 percent of Veris’ net income, the REIT said, up from 39 percent at the start of last year.
“These are significant milestones in our transition to a pure-play multifamily company,” CEO Mahbod Nia said in a statement. “Looking ahead, the sizable proceeds anticipated from these transactions provide the company with meaningful liquidity and optionality as we enter the next phase of our transformation.”
It’s a transformation a few years in the making. Mack-Cali, which had long struggled with underperforming suburban office buildings and became the target of activist investors in 2019, leading to a shakeup of its board and eventually its executive suite.
This week’s sales mean the company’s office portfolio is down to just two properties, Harborside 5 and 6, both of which it also plans to sell.