Safehold,  a REIT that specializes in ground leases,will join the MSCI US REIT Index.

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The New York-based REIT is the first company to join the index'snew category, which now recognizes ground leases as an eligibleproperty type. Safeguard is the first and only company in thecategory.

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The RMZ is a free float-adjusted market capitalizationweighted index. It includes securities classified under the EquityREITs Industry according to the Global Industry ClassificationStandard, which have core real estate exposure, and carry REIT taxstatus.

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"We're pleased to see growing adoption of modernized groundleases, not only among customers and investors, but also from theindex community, as we continue to educate the marketplace aboutour unique business," said Jay Sugarman, Safehold's chairman and CEO. "Ourinclusion in one of the most widely followed REIT indices willincrease our visibility and allow us to reach a broader pool ofinvestors."

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In 2019, Safehold's transactions in the Manhattan office markettotaled $1.35 billion and included a $180 millionground lease near Grand Central Terminal; a $235 million groundlease at 135 West 50th St.; a $620 millionlease on Park Ave.; and a $275 million lease inDowntown Manhattan.

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Outside of the Big Apple, Safehold acquired a $195 millionground lease for a Hawaii resort, and it was also involved last year in deals inAustin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. The company's founder andinvestment manager, iStar Inc., closed a $443 million cold storage net lease sale last year.

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Samantha Stokes

Samantha Stokes, based in New York, is a staff reporter at American Lawyer covering the business of law. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter: @stokessamanthaj.