New York Life, TIAA-CREF team up on $648m Boston loan

The two firms have reportedly split the loan between them.

New York Life Insurance Co. and TIAA-CREF have reportedly teamed up to place $648 million of mortgage financing on the acquisition of two adjacent office buildings in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, PDI sister title Real Estate Capital reported. The two firms split the financing evenly.

The borrowers, Oxford Properties Group and JPMorgan Asset Management, paid about $1.29 billion for 500 Boylston Street and 222 Berkeley, or roughly $755 million and $535 million for each, respectively.

The loan-to-value on the deal based on the purchase price is about 50 percent.

At roughly $1,000 per sq ft, the purchase price was understood to be one of the highest prices on record for Boston office space.

Completed in August, the acquisition was one of a string of large deals in the Boston area for Oxford, which invests on behalf of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

Last year, the firm bought four buildings in Boston and Cambridge from Blackstone for more than $2 billion, and in June it was 745 Atlantic in the Leather District for $114.5 million.

Incidentally, TIAA-CREF, the lender on the Back Bay deals, reportedly bought a majority stake in Biogen Inc.’s 225 Binney Street headquarters in Cambridge earlier this year, at upwards of $900 per square foot.

Blackstone meanwhile has been actively divesting the properties it acquired with the 2007 purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust, putting the Back Bay properties on the market in June, while JPMorgan’s asset management unit runs the country’s largest core real estate fund. Commercial Real Estate Direct first reported on the financing.