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GLENDALE, CA-Wells Real Estate Investment Trust has acquired the Nestle USA Inc. U.S. headquarters building at 800 N. Brand Blvd. for $157 million, setting a new record for price per sf paid for a Glendale office tower.

The Atlanta-based REIT bought the 20-story, 505,115-sf class-A office tower from Douglas Emmett Realty Advisors of Santa Monica, Calif. The building is occupied by Nestlé on a long-term lease as the company’s U.S. headquarters.

“This is the highest-priced trade in the history of the Glendale market,” said Bill Boyd of Grubb & Ellis, a longtime specialist in the Glendale market. “This hits it completely out of the park and sets a new high” for office property in the city, Boyd says.

The price of more than $310 per sf, according to Boyd, far exceeds the last high-water-mark for Glendale office buildings, which was the more than $250 per sf that Japan-based Shuwa Corp. paid for 505 N. Brand Blvd.

The acquisition is the first of a planned series of transactions that will place Wells as “a prominent real estate owner in California,” according to David Steinwedell, Wells Chief Investment Officer. The building’s location offers visibility from the Ventura (101) Freeway, linking with the rest of the Southern California freeway network. The property features a spacious lobby with marble, granite, stained hardwood and brass trim, and an outdoor plaza area with fountains, walkways, and sculptures. The building includes test kitchens for product development, an employee cafeteria, and an eight-level parking garage.

Nestlé USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé S.A., the world’s largest and most diversified food company, ranked 55th on the Fortune Global 500 list. The company produces hundreds of products, including chocolates, beverages (Nestea, Taster’s Choice, NesQuik), milk products (Carnation), juices (Libby’s), prepared foods (Stouffer’s, Ortega), and pet food (Alpo, Friskies).

Wells Real Estate Funds is an Atlanta-based national real estate investment management firm that purchases predominantly class-A existing, build-to-suit, and sale-leaseback office and industrial properties leased long term primarily to large corporate tenants. Wells Real Estate Funds has completed 29 transactions totaling more than $1.3 billion year-to-date. In its three investment products, Wells Real Estate Funds manages $2.2 billion in assets for over 70,000 investors nationwide.

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