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Columbia Property Trust to Expand Presence in Manhattan with Acquisition of Historic New York Times Building for $516 Million

July 24, 2015 12:00 AM

High-Barrier Primary Market Strategy Takes Center Stage with Latest Midtown Manhattan Acquisition

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Columbia Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:CXP) announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the commercial condominium unit in the historic New York Times Building, a 16-story, 481,110-square-foot Class-A office building located at 229 West 43rd Street in the Times Square submarket of Manhattan, from affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI L.P. for $516 million. The acquisition is expected to close within 30 days subject to customary closing conditions.

The acquisition is expected to be funded with a $300 million six-month bridge loan and short-term borrowings under Columbia’s $500 million unsecured credit facility, which is expected to increase the company’s leverage to approximately 39% of gross real estate assets (as of June 30, 2015, adjusted for recent dispositions). Currently 98% leased, the commercial unit of 229 West 43rd Street is expected to have first-year in-place net operating income (NOI) of approximately $22.3 million. The acquisition will bring Columbia’s portfolio to approximately 69% CBD and 79% multi-tenant and its exposure to high-barrier markets to 52%, all based on annualized lease revenue.

“The addition of 229 West 43rd Street to our other Manhattan properties will mirror what we have successfully achieved across our portfolio as a whole and in San Francisco in particular – blending a number of value-add opportunities with more stable assets in high-barrier primary markets,” said Nelson Mills, President and CEO of Columbia Property Trust. “Acquiring this iconic property with such strong tenancy and below-market rents at attractive pricing compared with other New York transactions enables us to increase exposure in what will be our second largest market, while spreading out lease maturities and capital commitments.”

Built and assembled in multiple phases from 1912 through 1947, the former home of The New York Times has undergone a recent redevelopment program that totaled $167 million, including a full upgrade of the building’s infrastructure, amenities and aesthetics. The property, which is not encumbered by a ground lease, consists of a condominium interest that spans a portion of the first and fourth floors and all of floors five through sixteen. The lower three and a half floors are owned by a separate entity. Major tenants at the property include Yahoo!, Snapchat, Collective Inc., and MongoDB.

About Columbia Property Trust

Columbia Property Trust is a fully integrated real estate investment trust that operates, manages, and acquires Class-A office buildings concentrated in CBD locations, with approximately half of its portfolio, as measured by annualized lease revenue, located in high-barrier primary markets. As of July 1, 2015, Columbia owned 27 office properties and one hotel, which included 40 buildings totaling 13.4 million square feet of office space. For more information about Columbia Property Trust, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements contained in this press release other than historical facts may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. We intend for all such forward-looking statements to be covered by the applicable safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in those acts. Such statements include, in particular, statements about the expected funding of the transaction, our expected leverage following the transaction, expected NOI for the building, and our plans, strategies, and prospects and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including known and unknown risks, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated. Therefore, such statements are not intended to be a guarantee of our performance in future periods. Such forward-looking statements can generally be identified by our use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "will," "expect," "intend," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "continue," or other similar words. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. We make no representations or warranties (express or implied) about the accuracy of any such forward-looking statements contained in this press release, and we do not intend to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors and are based on a number of assumptions involving judgments with respect to, among other things, future economic, competitive, and market conditions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately. To the extent that our assumptions differ from actual conditions, our ability to accurately anticipate results expressed in such forward-looking statements, including our ability to generate positive cash flow from operations, make distributions to stockholders, and maintain the value of our real estate properties, may be significantly hindered. See Item 1A in the Company's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, for a discussion of some of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those presented in our forward-looking statements. The risk factors described in our Annual Report are not the only ones we face, but do represent those risks and uncertainties that we believe are material to us. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also harm our business.

For Columbia Property Trust, Inc.
Tripp Sullivan, 615-760-1104
Jim Fleming, 404-465-2200

Source: Columbia Property Trust, Inc.

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