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The Thrilla in Mozilla

There's a couple of housekeeping announcements I'd like to make.

First of all, Public Citizen's brilliant design guru, James Decker, has launched the new Eyes on Trade blog header. If you like what you see, show James some love in the comments!

Second, you may have noticed some new names in the contributors list in recent weeks. There will be more to come, as some new members of the PC Global Trade Watch team premiere their own blog posts. In addition to Brandon Wu, Kate Pollard, Lori Wallach and me, you'll be seeing more regular posts from deputy director Bill Holland, organizers Michael Crawford, Sarah Edelman, and James Ploeser, and media/ South Africa expert Ann Eveleth.

Rounds of virtual applause, please!

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Sweet Banner Deck-master!

Michael Crawford

You the graphic design man, Mr. Decker! Keep up the fantastic work.


American Financial Realty Trust JV to Sell State Street Financial Center for North of $880M

Fortis Property Group is leading the "Northeast-based private real estate investment group" that has agreed to acquire the 1 million-square-foot State Street Financial Center at 1 Lincoln Street in Boston for more than $880 million, or $880 per square foot, according to sources familiar with the sale.

The Brooklyn, NY-based Fortis, which includes Louis and son Joel Kestenbaum, and a group of other New York investors are expected to close on the 36-story office tower from a joint venture led by American Financial Realty Trust (NYSE:AFR) and an affiliate of IPC US Income REIT by the end of this year or early 2007.

Fortis apparently set its sights on Boston following several high-profile Dallas deals where it agreed to pay about $280 million for the three-building, 1.4 million-square-foot office complex known as Galleria Office Towers in Dallas. Earlier in the year, Fortis teamed with Trimarchi Management, also from New York, on the nearly $100 million acquisition of two other Dallas office properties, Harwood Center and Saint Paul Place. It also invested in the $282.5 million purchase of JPMorgan International Plaza in Dallas.

The addition of State Street Financial Center will build out Fortis' portfolio considerably. The privately held firm headed by CEO Jonathan Landau is controlled by the Louis Kestenbaum family. Fortis manages some 3 million square feet in commercial properties and about 454 residential units.

American Financial, a Jenkintown, PA, REIT decided to formally shop the 36-story tower in the last couple of months. The company is pruning its portfolio and repositioning itself. The REIT paid $705.4 million or $688.84 per square foot in February 2004 to acquire the property. Later that year, it sold a 30% stake to an affiliate of Canadian REIT IPC US Real Estate Investment Trust, for $60.3 million.

The building is fully leased with triple A credit tenant State Street Corp. occupying most of the building under a lease that runs until 2023. State Street also leases the property's 900-space garage on a 20-year triple-net lease.


Louis & Joel Kestenbaum/Fortis Property Group Behind $880M Sale in Boston is going bust now ..What a ripoff these two goons pulled off

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