NORTHERN VIRGINIA-Normandy Real Estate Partners was the winning bidder of the US Army/Air Force Mutual Aid Association’s real estate portfolio here, called Starco Properties. The Morristown, NJ-based firm said it paid $157 million for the 10-asset portfolio, which totals 786,632 sf. It made the acquisition on behalf of its private equity fund, Normandy Real Estate Fund LP, which is co-sponsored by an affiliated partnership, Normandy Northeast Office Venture Partners LP.

The properties are located in Northern Virginia submarkets of Westfields, Reston, Fairfax, and Alexandria. There is also one asset located in Columbia, MD.

Cassidy & Pinkard represented the association, which provides life insurance to the military. Holland & Knight was tapped to serve as legal counsel to Normandy. Morgan Stanley provided the mortgage financing.

“This transaction represents an exceptionally high quality, value added portfolio of assets in the fast growing Metropolitan Washington, DC market, an investment market our firm has targeted for significant expansion going forward,” Gavin Evans, principal of Normandy, says in a statement.

In the portfolio are two buildings under construction at Westfields that will deliver by the end of Q1 2007, he adds.

These buildings Stoneleigh I and II are 105,833 sf each. One is already fully leased to Apptis Inc. The other is still completely vacant.

Many of the properties in the Starco portfolio are located along Route 28 south, Tonya Ginter, director of research for GVA Advantis, notes. “Vacancy rates are very high in that market because there has been so much construction coupled with little leasing activity. More and more owners are selling buildings in this environment.”

Most of the Starco properties are fully leased. Glenview I, II, III and IV, for instance, are all fully leased, Ginter says. The Reston office building, 1775 Wiehle Ave., is fully leased as is the building in Fairfax City, a class B asset located at 4031 University Dr. The 90,000-sf building in Alexandria is only 52.8% leased.

The two parties in this transaction disagree on the selling price. Cassidy & Pinkard said the portfolio sold for $170 million while Normandy retains the purchase price was $157 million.

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