Blackstone Said in Talks to Sell Offices for $2.5 Billion

Blackstone Group LP is in talks to sell six prime office properties in the Boston area for about $2.5 billion as the buyout firm continues to dispose of assets from its 2007 takeover of Equity Office Properties Trust, said a person with knowledge of the negotiations.

The properties total about 3.6 million square feet (344,400 square meters) and are located mostly in downtown Boston, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The assets include 225 Franklin St. and 1 Memorial Drive in nearby Cambridge, where Microsoft Corp. has its New England research and development center, the person said.

Blackstone, based in New York, is holding discussions with several potential buyers, including MetLife Inc., Singapore’s GIC Pte, Norges Bank Investment Management and Oxford Properties Group, the real estate unit of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the person said.

Peter Rose, a Blackstone spokesman, and Claire McIntyre, an Oxford Properties spokeswoman, declined to comment on the plans, as did Line Aaltvedt, a spokeswoman for Norges Bank. John Calagna, a MetLife spokesman, and a spokeswoman for GIC didn’t respond to requests for comment.

San Francisco

Separately, Blackstone agreed to buy a 49 percent stake in a San Francisco office property, One Market Plaza, in the firm’s second acquisition in core and core-plus real estate, according to three people with knowledge of the investment. Core real estate refers to high-quality, well-leased buildings in major markets that offer investors a stable return with low risk. The deal values the two-tower complex, near the city’s waterfront Embarcadero, at just more than $1.2 billion, the people said.

Paramount Group Inc. is selling the stake and will continue to own the rest of the property, the people said. Jolanta Bott, a spokeswoman for New York-based Paramount, didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Blackstone is buying the stake in One Market Plaza with an institutional investor, said the people. The asset was part of a group of properties that Blackstone sold to Morgan Stanley in 2007 soon after its takeover of Equity Office. Morgan Stanley then brought in Paramount as a joint-venture partner shortly afterward and Paramount bought the rest of the property earlier this year.

Plans for the sale of the Boston offices and the San Francisco purchase were reported yesterday by Real Estate Alert.

Eastdil Secured LLC is advising on the sale of the Boston assets, said the person with knowledge of the plans.

In a separate transaction, Blackstone sold 28 State St., a 40-story building in Boston’s Financial District, to a joint venture of Rockefeller Group Investment Management Corp. and Mitsubishi Estate New York. The building has about 572,000 square feet of office space and 7,000 square feet of retail, Rockefeller said in a statement today.

The purchase price was about $345 million, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Brian Mahoney, a Rockefeller spokesman, declined to comment.

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