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STAMFORD, CT-A new player has arrived in Stamford–RFR Holding LLC of New York City. The investment firm closed on its previously announced purchase of the former Stamford portfolio of Equity Office Properties Trust from the Blackstone Group of New York City.

The deal, which includes seven prime Stamford CBD office properties totaling 1.8 million sf, is said to be worth approximately $850 million. RFR’s new holdings make it the largest office property owner in the city’s CBD, staking claim to 24% of the market. The portfolio includes the four-building Stamford Plaza office complex, Canterbury Green, 300 Atlantic St. and 177 Broad St.

“This portfolio was attractive to RFR for several reasons,” says Jason Brown, president of RFR Holding. “First, rental rates within Stamford are climbing and have increased 10% over the past year; the buildings are all class A and will easily be upgraded further to make the aesthetics, services and amenities consistent with the entire renowned RFR portfolio; the tenant roster boasts some of the most coveted names in the business such as Merrill Lynch, Price Waterhouse, Fidelity, Citigroup, Towers Perrin and Fortis Capital and many New York City-based CEOs and other ‘C-level’ executives live in the Stamford area and will find it a suitable site for headquarters relocation or satellite facilities.”

In March, RFR and the Blackstone Group signed a contract for the sale of the properties, shortly after the Blackstone Group closed on its $39-billion purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust. At the time the contract was announced RFR’s Brown told GlobeSt.com that he believed his firm could secure rents in the high $40s to low $50s per sf in the future at its Stamford portfolio. Currently, rents for class A space in Stamford are averaging in the high $30s per sf.

“We intend to invest in our Stamford portfolio with a significant capital improvement program that will impart a true corporate campus ambience with new building signage, attractive streetscapes and consistent landscape architecture,” says RFR Holding partner Michael Fuchs. He adds that the firm also plans to enhance services, amenities along with physical plant upgrades at the portfolio, consistent with the firm’s other office properties, such as 375 Park Ave. in New York City. RFR Holding owns and manages approximately nine million sf of office and retail space in New York City.

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