BRIDGEWATER, NJ-Gramercy Capital Corp. has acquired a 49.75% equity interest, with a .25% interest to be acquired later, in 55 Corporate Dr., a three-building, 670,000-sf office campus here. The property is fully net leased through April 2023 to pharma giant Sanofi-aventis, which is using the site as its US headquarters.

The New York City-based Gramercy, a commercial real estate specialty finance company, bought the half-interest from the Gale Co. and Principal Real Estate Investors. As reported by GlobeSt.com, Gale and PREI, back by SL Green Realty Corp., bought the former AT&T campus from the telecom giant in May 2005 in a sale-leaseback transaction for a reported $125 million, and in November inked Sanofi-aventis to a full-complex lease after signing a lease termination agreement with AT&T. Sanofi-aventis’ move-in, a consolidation of three locations, is under way and scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

According to details released by Gramercy Capital, the share is held as a tenancy-in-common interest, with the remaining 50% held as a TIC interest by SL Green. The new venture obtained a 10-year, $190-million mortgage from Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co., after having previously retired a $91-million first mortgage that Gramercy bought in March from Wachovia Bank. The effective interest rate is approximately 5.75%, according to Gramercy officials, and the company invested some $23 million of equity in the venture, including the purchase price, transaction costs and future funding requirements.

“We continue to use our relationship network and our strategic alliance with SL Green to source and structure off-market, net-lease investments that provide steady earnings, long-term appreciation potential and corporate finance benefits for the company,” says Gramercy Capital’s Hugh Hall, whose company is externally managed by GKK Manager LLC, a majority-owned subsidiary of SL Green. “These investments generate significant organic equity for reinvestment in our lending and net lease investment activities.”

Besides the existing 670,000 sf of building space, the 150-acre site has some flexibility in terms of expansion – it’s already approved for several hundred thousand sf of additional expansion. The site is in Central New Jersey’s Somerset County, near the confluence of Interstates 78 and 287 and Route 206.

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