Robert Martin to Reacquire Most of its Storied Portfolio in $488M Mega Deal

John Jordan | March 2019

An aerial photo of the Cross Westchester Executive Park in Elmsford.

ELMSFORD-Robert Martin Co., one of the pioneer commercial office real estate development firms in Westchester County, has confirmed plans to reacquire approximately 95% of the portfolio it developed here and in Fairfield County, CT and sold more than two decades ago in a deal valued at $487.5 million.

Industry observers say the deal, if finalized, would be the largest commercial real estate transaction in Westchester County history.

RMC has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 3.1-million-square-feet of office/flex space it developed in the 1970s through the 1990s from Mack-Cali Realty Corp., which has embarked on a program to divest its interests in office-flex properties in the New York area.

On Jan. 27, 1997 Cali Realty Corporation (predecessor to Mack-Cali Realty) acquired the Robert Martin Co. for $450 million. The transaction involved approximately 4.1 million square feet in office/flex properties in Westchester County and Connecticut.

“Our company has a long and proud tradition of being a pioneer and leader in the commercial real estate field. The acquisition of these outstanding properties continues our legacy of innovation and market leadership,” said RMC Founder and President Robert F. Weinberg in connection with its pending portfolio purchase.

The portfolio RMC will reacquire includes the 1.36 million-square-foot Cross Westchester Executive Park in Elmsford; the 770,000-square-foot Mid-Westchester Executive Park in Hawthorne; the 780,000-square-foot South Westchester Executive Park in Yonkers; and a restaurant building in Tarrytown. The transaction also includes the 270,000-square-foot Stamford Executive Park in Fairfield County, CT. The overall portfolio has a total of 56 buildings with approximately 260 tenants.

“This major acquisition is an exciting opportunity for our company. This portfolio gives us a huge market share in Westchester with a product line that is currently in great demand. Industrial/flex space is currently the hottest sector of the commercial market,” said RMC CEO/Partner Tim Jones.

Robert Martin Company and its affiliates have developed and acquired more than 20 million square feet of real estate across virtually every asset class. Today, the company and partners hold a portfolio that includes millions of square feet of office, retail, industrial, and residential properties as well as developable land.

RMC Managing Director/Partner Greg Berger, added, “Robert Martin Company has been firmly rooted in Westchester County for over 60 years. We know how to manage these buildings and have excellent relationships with the local communities. We see great future growth for our company and are very bullish on the Westchester market.”

Mack-Cali CEO Michael DeMarco stated, “The sale of our office/flex portfolio substantially completes our strategic repositioning. Mack Cali’s evolution to a waterfront centric office and residential landlord is complete. Proceeds from the sale of this portfolio will be used in part to pay down debt and to purchase Soho Lofts, a 377-unit apartment community in Jersey City, which furthers our waterfront strategy.”

Mack-Cali expects the deal with RMC to close early in the second quarter of this year.

Earlier this year, Mack-Cali sold the six-building Elmsford Distribution Center in Elmsford. The Jersey City, NJ-based REIT sold the more than 386,000-square-foot property to Realterm Logistics of Annapolis, MD for $70.25 million.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth