Workspace Property Trust, a privately-held real estate investment firm led by Thomas Rizk, Roger Thomas and Howard Sipzner, purchased 41 office and flex buildings in Horsham, Pennsylvania. The buildings were bought from Liberty Property Trust for approximately $245.3 million.
According to Workspace Property Trust officials, this acquisition represents the beginning of a strategic plan to build a portfolio of high quality, well-positioned suburban real estate assets in the Northeast region.
Strategically located directly off the Pennsylvania Turnpike, this portfolio is comprised of 2,374,749 square-feet across 41 buildings. While the portfolio is diverse across property type and tenant mix, the most heavily concentrated property type within the portfolio is 860,000-square-feet of Class A, multi-story office. The portfolio boasts strong, consistent overall occupancy and financial performance. Tenants are drawn by the area's proximity to major thoroughfares, which provide convenient access to Philadelphia and New York City.
"We believe there is a significant opportunity to acquire high quality assets and portfolios in transit centric, amenity rich, near-city submarkets within the Northeast corridor, and I don't believe you could find a stronger management team to execute this vision," said Roger Thomas, President/COO of WPT. "Between Tom, Howard and myself, we have over 75 years of experience operating in these markets and have assembled a veteran management team on the ground in Horsham who have been with these properties for many, many years. It was a pleasure working with Liberty to execute this transaction, they are truly a first rate operator and have done a great job with this portfolio."
Thomas Rizk, CEO of WPT, commented, "We are thrilled to complete this transaction and begin building a substantial platform of suburban office real estate assets. There are some interesting parallels between the current market environment and when I originally deployed a similar strategy after taking Cali Realty public in 1994. We intend to use our deep relationships and strong market knowledge to aggressively pursue both marketed and non-marketed transactions as we grow this exciting franchise."
WPT management partnered with Rizk Ventures, Forum Partners, JMP Group, and EverWatch Capital in this transaction. The acquisition was financed with a $200 million loan provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association and arranged by the HFF team of Mike Tepedino, Michael Gigliotti, Ryan Ade and James Conley.
Russell Platt, CEO of Forum Partners, noted, "Tom and I have a 20-year relationship dating back to his Cali and later Mack-Cali days, and as Forum continues expanding its focus to the U.S., this was a natural fit from a relationship as well as a strategic standpoint."