MetLife's real estate investments unit originated more than US$8B in commercial mortgage loans in 2010; company anticipates 2011 will be strong year for commercial loan originations

Michelle Rivera

Michelle Rivera

Jan 28, 2011 – Business Wire

NEW YORK , January 27, 2011 (press release) – MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) announced today that it originated, through its Real Estate Investments department, over $8 billion in commercial mortgage loans in 2010. The company’s $38 billion commercial mortgage portfolio continued to perform well last year even as the industry experienced tight credit markets, lower property values and rising defaults.

"The strong performance of MetLife's high-quality portfolio has positioned us well to remain an active lender in the market,” said Robert Merck, senior managing director and head of real estate investments for MetLife. "Our size, financial strength, solid reputation and experience have made MetLife the leading life insurance company portfolio lender. Top borrowers see the benefit of having a relationship with a long-term portfolio lender."

MetLife Real Estate Investments completed a number of high-quality real estate transactions with top-tier institutional real estate owners last year in coveted metropolitan markets with loan sizes of $175 million and above, including:

125 W 55th Street - New York, N.Y.

* $207 million first mortgage.
* 591,000 square foot, 32-story, Class A office building located in midtown Manhattan.

Two Grand Central - New York, N.Y.

* $180 million first mortgage, 5-year fixed-rate loan.
* 664,000 square foot, 44-story, Class A office building located in midtown Manhattan.

300 North LaSalle – Chicago, Ill.

* $350 million first mortgage, 5-year fixed-rate loan.
* 1.3 million square foot, 60-story office building located on the north bank of the Chicago River in the Chicago central business district.
* LEED Gold certified Class A office building.

Fashion Valley Mall – San Diego, Calif.

* Lead participation of $275 million in a $475 million first mortgage, 10-year fixed-rate loan.
* 1.7 million square foot open-air, super regional mall, anchored by several major retail department stores.
* Considered to be among the top performing regional malls in the country.

Heritage Plaza – Houston, Texas

* $200 million first mortgage, 12-year fixed-rate loan.
* 1.09 million square foot, 53-story, Class A office building located in the Houston central business district.

"We remain optimistic with respect to the market fundamentals going into 2011 and continue to see good opportunities for investment. We expect another strong year in 2011 for originating commercial mortgage loans,” added Merck.

Through its Real Estate Investments department, MetLife oversees a well diversified real estate investment portfolio of approximately $58 billion, which is one of the largest in the U.S. and consists of real estate equities, commercial mortgages and agricultural mortgages. MetLife is a global leader in real estate investment and real estate asset management, with a vast network of regional offices that keep in close contact with the major real estate markets. MetLife’s real estate investment focus includes office, multi-family, industrial and retail properties. For more information, visit www.metlife.com/realestate.

MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 60 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

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