CRANFORD, NJ-When it began shrugging off the after-effects of its failed acquisition of Texas-based Prentiss Properties–and its concurrent stock dive–Mack-Cali Realty Corp., the self-administered REIT based here, launched a drive to sell off many of its properties nationally. The move was designed, among other things, to calm investors worried about the future of the company.

The best way to do that, in Mack-Cali officials’ eyes, was to toss out the national platform idea and return the company to its roots in the Northeast. The sell-offs were also aimed at giving the company some pocket money to snap up choice properties in the tight northeastern market.

That divestiture has begun in earnest. Properties in Texas and on the West Coast have been moved, and a number of others are on the block. Latest to go is Mack-Cali’s sole asset in Nebraska, the 319,500-sf, 106-year-old Brandeis Building in downtown Omaha, NE. The buyer is TCI Brandeis, a local partnership; the price tag was $12.5 million. The building is about three-quarters leased to the Union Pacific railroad company, but that lease is set to expire in about 18 months.

CB Richard Ellis and Grubb & Ellis/Pacific Realty jointly represented Mack-Cali in the deal. In conjunction with the sale, a Mack-Cali affiliate company provided a short-term $8.75 million purchase money mortgage to TCI Brandeis at an effective interest rate of 9.8%.

“The proceeds will be reinvested in our core markets in the Northeast,” reports Mitchell Hersh, Mack-Cali’s CEO. “It’s another step in our process of selling assets in non-strategic markets and enhancing our position in the high-barrier-to-entry markets in the Northeast.”

The Brandeis Building entered the Mack-Cali fold fairly recently–about three years ago. It was part of the package that came with the company’s acquisition of the Patriot American Office Group. The company still has plenty in the pantry. At last count, it owns or has interests in almost 270 properties, mostly class A office and office/flex space with a total floor count of some 28.2 million sf.

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