KABR sells New Jersey building for reported $60M

233K-sf building, home to Samsung, was acquired for $10M in 2009TRD TRI-STATE /October 27, 2020 11:00 AM By Akiko Matsuda 

KABR Group CEO Kenneth Pasternak and 85 Challenger Road in Ridgefield Park, NJ (Photos via KABR)

KABR Group CEO Kenneth Pasternak and 85 Challenger Road in Ridgefield Park, NJ (Photos via KABR)

A New Jersey office building acquired at a deep discount during the Great Recession sold in the middle of the pandemic — and reportedly for a premium.

The KABR Group, a New Jersey-based private equity real estate firm, announced Tuesday that it sold a 233,000-square-foot building at 85 Challenger Road in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, to Asia Investment Management, which is based in Seoul, South Korea. KABR will continue to manage the building on behalf of the buyer.

The seller declined to disclose the sale price, but a Korean news outlet reported that the transaction was for $59.7 million. The sale has yet to be recorded in Bergen County property records.

The New Jersey County Tax Boards Association estimates the property’s market value at $35.65 million, according to PropertyShark.

The sale was a major achievement for KABR, which purchased the then-vacant building in 2009 for $10.28 million. The seller was AIG Global Investment, which had taken control of the distressed property.

In 2010, KABR leased most of the building to Samsung Electronics America. Since then, the company has remained on as a tenant, eventually expanding to occupy the entire building. It signed a six-year, 233,000-square-foot lease extension about a year ago, according to NorthJersey.com.ADVERTISEMENT

JLL’s Jose Cruz, Kevin O’Hearn, Steve Simonelli, Michael Oliver and J.B. Brunmo represented KABR for the sale.

“The investment opportunity was appealing to both domestic and offshore capital given the credit and term remaining which provides a predictable cash flow for the buyer,” Cruz said of the reason for the transaction in the downturn when the number of investment sales has plummeted.

Title giant First American pumps $40M into digital closing startup

Latest funding adds to $30M provided last year to launch mobile-first serviceTRD NATIONAL /November 11, 2020 09:20 AMBy E.B. SolomontEndpoint CEO Scott Martino and First American CEO Dennis Gilmore (iStock)

Endpoint CEO Scott Martino and First American CEO Dennis Gilmore (iStock)

One of the country’s biggest title insurers is doubling down on digital closings.

First American Financial Corp. said it’s investing $40 million into Endpoint, a title and escrow startup it launched last year. That’s on top of the $30 million it already pumped into Endpoint to develop the standalone company, which bills itself as a mobile-first service.ADVERTISING

Endpoint, based in El Segundo, California, said the new funding will allow it to accelerate hiring and expansion, both of new products and to new markets. Endpoint’s escrow automation replaces the traditional exchange of papers at real estate closings. So far, it operates in Seattle, Southern California and Arizona.

First American is one of the so-called “Big Four” insurers that dominate the title industry. Founded in 1889, it generated $6.2 billion in 2019 revenue.ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement, Endpoint CEO Scott Martino said buyers and sellers today “expect a certain level of convenience and speed.”

Earlier this year, First American bought housing tech company Docutech for $350 million. At the time, the title insurance company said the deal brings it closer to completely digital mortgages and closings.

In recent years, investors have backed other startups aiming to streamline the antiquated closing process. States Title, a four-year-old startup in San Francisco, raised $123 million last year to digitize title, mortgage and escrow services. And Spruce, a New York startup founded in 2016, raised $29 million Series B in May.

First American developed Endpoint with BCG Digital Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Boston Consulting Group.Contact E.B.Solomont