Bank of America has found a buyer for the sprawling 12-building office campus that its brokerage Merrill Lynch built in Hopewell Township, N.J., a decade ago.
The buyer, according to Real Estate Alert, an institutional real estate market newsletter, is Fortress Investment Group LLC. The New York-based investment manager is reportedly paying between $375 million and $400 million for the 700-acre property located roughly halfway between New York and Philadelphia, making it one of the largest real estate transactions in New Jersey history.
“Commercial real estate ownership is not a core business for us,” said Bank of America spokeswoman Jennifer Darwin. “The property is under contract to be sold and we expect the transaction to close by the end of the year.” Ms. Darwin did not confirm the buyer or the price tag. She said the bank has entered into a long-term lease with the buyer to rent back the space. Approximately 6,000 people in customer service and back-office functions for Merrill Lynch work on the campus. “This will have no impact on employees,” Ms. Darwin said.
Fortress Investment Group spokesman Gordon Runte declined to comment.
The New Jersey site isn't the first large property BofA has unloaded recently. Over the last year, the company has sold four other office properties in New York, Boston and Charlotte, N.C., bringing in $1.3 billion, according to Real Estate Alert. Two other properties in Chicago and Charlotte are also currently listed for sale.