The Wyndham Worldwide headquarters in Parsippany, NJ, marks the REIT's fifth acquisition of the year.

IRVINE, CA—Locally based Griffin Capital Corp.‘s acquisition, on behalf of Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT Inc., of the 249,409-square-foot Wyndham Worldwide corporate headquarters facility in Parsippany, NJ, from an affiliate of Mack-Cali Realty Corp. for $96.6 million, marks the REIT’s first this year on the East Coast, but its fifth in total for the year. The acquistion brings the REIT’s total deals closed so far this year to more than $320 million.

The property, developed by the seller in 2009, won the Outstanding Building of the Year Award for the Mid-Atlantic region from the Building Owners and Managers Association for 2014. International hospitality company Wyndham Worldwide has a remaining lease term of more than 15 years, with annual base rental-rate increases of 1.75%. The tenant has been an occupant at the building since it was constructed as a build-to-suit.

In January, the REIT acquired three properties, including a 1.4-million-square-foot industrial facility leased to Caterpillar in Joliet, IL, for $57 million from a publicly traded REIT; a 430,000-square-foot office facility leased to Digital Globe in Westminster, CO, for $92 million from a corporate user; and a 131,000-square-foot office facility leased to Waste Management in Phoenix for $22.8 million from an institutional investor. In February, it acquired a 157,000-square-foot office facility leased to BT Infonet in El Segundo, CA, for $52.6 million form a foreign investor.

Regarding the New Jersey acquisition, according to Louis Sohn, Griffin Capital’s SVP of acquisitions, “We are pleased to further expand our footprint in the New Jersey market and acquire this award-winning property located in the premier Mack-Cali Business Campus. This acquisition adds another S&P 500 company to our blue-chip tenant roster and elevates the REIT’s total capitalization over the $2-billion mark.”

Adds Michael Escalante, Griffin Capital’s CIO, “We are excited to grow our portfolio intelligently across the country through solid investments, secured by strong credit profiles and located in liquid real estate markets. As we work toward filling our $1.2-bllion acquisition objective for 2014, we will continue to maintain a prudent posture and seek investments with favorable risk-adjusted yields in macro real estate market environment that remains highly competitive, particularly in the single-tenant, net lease sector.”

The latest acquisition is a continuation of the strong acquisition journey that Griffin Capital was on last year. As reported in November 2013, learned exclusively that Griffin Capital had acquired an 18-asset, roughly 4-million-square-foot office portfolio from what the firm told us was Columbia Property Trust for approximately $521.5 million on behalf of the REIT. The predominantly single-tenant portfolio is triple-net-leased to many prominent Fortune 500 companies, and the transaction nearly doubled the size of the REIT, which at that time owned 41 properties, with a total capitalization in excess of $1.3 billion.