EDISON, NJ-Mack-Cali Realty Corp. has picked up a total of $64.5 million in mortgage financing covering two of its Central New Jersey office properties. The two separate mortgages were obtained from Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America, and both carry terms of 10 years and bear an interest rate of 7.25%, according to officials of the REIT.

“We are extremely pleased that we have secured these mortgages and enhanced our balance sheet liquidity,” says Mitchell E. Hersh, president and CEO of the locally based company, in a statement. “We appreciate Guardian Life’s confidence in us.”

The larger of the two deals is a $44.9-million package for One River Centre, a three-building, 480,000-square-foot class A office complex at 331 Newman Springs Rd. in Red Bank, Monmouth County. The three and four-story buildings list just 22,000 square feet of space available, and the tenant roster includes Telcordia Technologies, ORC/First Energy, High Point Property & Casualty, Intelligent Office and IEEE Xphone, among others.

The second package of $19.6 million is secured by Mack-Cali Corporate Centre, a 183,000-square-foot, six-story class A building at 100 Walnut Ave. in Clark, Union County. Built in 1985, it’s currently listed with 15,700 square feet available, and its tenant list includes National City Mortgage, Standard Insurance, Sun Trust, Zurich Insurance and DSV Air & Sea.

The financings follow a recent report of at least one problem property in Mack-Cali’s portfolio. As reported by the Journal News of White Plains, the company was part of a partnership that defaulted on a flex property in Orangeburg, Rockland County, NY. No other specific properties have been mentioned, however, and a Mack-Cali spokesman terms it “an isolated case” and declined further comment.

Fitch Ratings, however, recently re-affirmed its existing ratings for the company. Its ratings are “BBB” for senior unsecured notes and preferred stock, and the REIT’s ratings outlook is “stable.”

“Mack-Cali maintains a strong credit profile,” Fitch notes, “driven by a solid tenant roster with strong debt service coverage and modest leverage, a large unencumbered asset pool, manageable debt maturities, a solid risk-adjusted capital ratio, and a measured approach to new development.”

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