OVG and Normandy sell Unilever’s N. American HQ Property to Mesirow Financial

OVG and Normandy sell Unilever’s N. American HQ Property to Mesirow Financial

OVG Real Estate and Normandy Real Estate Services have successfully sold the Unilever North American Headquarters located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to Mesirow Financial.

 The 30.000 sq.m. property, which is located across the Hudson River from New York City, is in the midst of a substantial redevelopment coordinated through a joint venture between OVG Real Estate and Normandy Real Estate Partners, and is expected to be completed by Q4 2017. Unilever has a long operating history at this location, dating back to the mid-1960s, and has reaffirmed its commitment to the location by committing to an 18-year lease with multiple options to extend.

At completion, Unilever’s North American Headquarters aims to be one of the most energy-efficient and technologically advanced corporate facilities on the East Coast. 

“We are very pleased that our partners OVG and Normandy have concluded this deal with Mesirow to acquire 700 Sylvan Avenue and become the landlord of our North American Headquarters Campus.  This supports our strategy to maintain a strong presence in New Jersey and continue to attract and retain great talent across the tri-state area,” said Ian Dunning, service delivery director, Unilever. 

Jan-Hein Lakeman, Executive Managing Director of OVG Real Estate USA and Giorgios L. Vlamis, COO and partner of Normandy: “We are proud of our first joint project in the US and the partnership with Mesirow, who has an impressive reputation as a financier of single-tenant buildings. We look forward to realize our vision to use smart technology for a sustainable and healthy environment in the redevelopment of the headquarters of Unilever and many others that will follow.’’

Mesirow Financial’s Garry Cohen stated, “We are ecstatic to be closing on what will become such a distinctive and iconic facility as well as forging a new partnership with prominent organizations such as Unilever, OVG and Normandy. This transaction is the capstone to an incredibly successful year for Mesirow’s Sale-Leaseback Capital group, where we have purchased in excess of $500 million of single tenant properties despite a challenging capital markets environment.  We believe that this transaction is the beginning of a terrific long-term relationship with Unilever.”  

“With strong collaboration between our capital markets businesses, we continue to enhance our full-service platform in acquiring single-tenant properties on a national basis, complemented by our capabilities in mezzanine and senior debt placement,” said Richard Price, chairman and chief executive officer of Mesirow Financial.

Cushman & Wakefield acted as real estate advisor for Unilever and OVG/Normandy on the transaction led by Vice Chairman David Bernhaut and Senior Managing Director Robert Elms.

Led by Senior Managing Directors Garry Cohen and Douglas Barker, Mesirow Financial’s Sale-Leaseback Capital group arranged for the purchase of the facility. The acquisition financing was structured in collaboration with Mesirow Financial’s Credit Tenant Lease (CTL) and Institutional Sales and Trading groups, led by Senior Managing Director Stephen Jacobson and Managing Director Nathanial Sager.