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CalPERS selling Austin office to PREI for $240m

The country’s largest pension plan has sold a 22-story office building it purchased in 2007.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is selling 301 Congress, a 428,000 square foot office building in Austin, Texas, to Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI) for nearly $240 million.

CalPERS, the country's biggest pension plan, has owned the 22-story building since 2007, originally purchasing a stake in the property with Hines from Crescent Real Estate Holdings. At the time, Hines managed the pension fund's national office portfolio before the firm was swapped out for CommonWealth Partners in 2011.

CalPERS traded managers as it tried to bounce back from steep losses in its real estate portfolio during the global financial crisis. The pension giant had done more than $4 billion worth of deals with Los Angeles-based CommonWealth when it brought the firm on as its new national office portfolio manager in 2011, according to the firm. CommonWealth acquired a 2 percent stake in the Austin property at that time, according to Real Capital Analytics.

The class A office tower, built in 1982, is home to digital coupon platform RetailMeNot, networking firm Gerson Lehrman Group and tech company Teza Technologies. The building has a fitness center and storage spaces for tenants, as well as a bank and deli.

Eastdil Secured is handling the sale process. PREI, based in Madison, New Jersey, declined to comment.