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WEEHAWKEN, NJ-Telecom buildings haven’t been a particularly hot real estate investment category over the last year or so, so it’s big news when a major one changes hands. According to sources, a joint venture of New York-based Argent Ventures, headed by Andrew Penson, along with Lehman Brothers, has just sold the 300,000-sf 300 Boulevard East here. The buyer is a joint venture between the California Public Employees Retirement System and CB Richard Ellis, which will manage the asset.

The Sacramento, CA-based retirement fund manager paid somewhere in the vicinity of $60 million for the asset, according to those sources, who did not wish to be identified. The buy is said to be on behalf of a CalPERS dedicated telecom property investment fund.

The transaction is also said by those sources to have been arranged by Douglas Harmon, managing director at Eastdil Realty in New York City. Reached by telephone, Harmon declined to comment on the transaction. Argent officials could not be reached for comment.

The building’s largest single tenant is Cable & Wireless, which leases an estimated 75% of the total space for use by one of its operating companies, Digital Island. Another key tenant at 300 Boulevard East is the Broomfield, CO-based broadband service provider, Level 3. Level 3 uses it as a colocation facility, and both companies currently occupy their spaces under long-term leases that are said to have close to 10 years to run.

Another key tenant is America Express Bank, which subleases an undisclosed amount of space that the company took immediately in the wake of the 9/11 attacks last year. Amex was up and running within 48 hours of those attacks. Also in the building is Quadrix Solutions, an Internet systems integrator.

Altogether, the facility’s current tenants have invested an estimated $100 million to upgrade it for their operational needs, and the asset has gained a reputation in the region as a key site for Web-hosting, back up and disaster recovery facilities. The building, which is 100% leased, is located in Hudson County, just across the river from Manhattan, within Hartz Mountain Industries’ masterplanned Lincoln Harbor project.

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