SINGAPORE (June 11): Jill Smith, the vivacious CEO of Manulife US REIT’s manager, appears eager to explain that the REIT is very important to its sponsor Manulife, and also why she announced aggressive growth plans in February this year.
“We’ve been described as [the jewel in Manulife’s crown]. We are pretty important,” she says at a recent breakfast meeting.
In April, Manulife US REIT announced plans to acquire two office buildings from Manulife. These are 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC (Penn) for US$182 million ($242.8 million); and Phipps Tower (Phipps), an office building at 3438 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, for US$205 million. These acquisitions come hot on the heels of two acquisitions last year — 500 Plaza Drive in Secaucus (Plaza) for US$115 million from a third party, and 10 Exchange Place, Jersey City (Exchange) for US$313.2 million from Manulife.