MetLife, Norges Bank Venture Buys Washington Office Complex

(Bloomberg) -- A joint venture of MetLife Inc. and Norges Bank Real Estate Management purchased the Constitution Square Three and Four office buildings in Washington, a deal marking the fifth U.S. investment for the partnership.

Affiliates of MetLife will own 52.5 percent of the properties -- one completed and one under development -- and will manage them, while Norges will own the remaining 47.5 percent, according to a statement Thursday. The seller was a joint venture of StonebridgeCarras and Walton Street Capital LLC, and the total cost to the venture is projected to be $421.8 million, Norges said in a separate statement.

MetLife, the largest U.S. life insurer, has been teaming up with Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund for real estate deals over the past few years, as the investors seek longer-term holdings that can generate higher returns. The partners created the joint venture in 2013 to bet on office properties in the U.S., and have since added buildings in Boston, Washington and San Francisco to the portfolio.

Constitution Square, with a total of 839,000 square feet (78,000 square meters) is located in the area known as NoMa, for north of Massachusetts Avenue. Constitution Square Three is an existing 349,000-square-foot office building with street-level retail, while the second property in the deal is not yet constructed. The buildings are fully leased to a division of the U.S. Department of Justice.