Northwood buys US corporate park for $1.2bn

In one of its biggest investments to date, the New York-based firm bought a master-planned development with office and hotel space in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Northwood Investors is betting big on Charlotte, North Carolina in a $1.2 billion deal, which closed earlier this month.

The New York-based private equity real estate firm purchased most of Ballantyne Corporate Park, a master-planned, mixed-use development, from local developer Bissell Companies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and neither firm responded to requests for comment. Data provider Real Capital Analytics pegged the total cost to Northwood for the 535-acre site at $1.2 billion. It was unclear at press time out of which vehicle Northwood made its purchase.

Through the deal, Northwood has acquired 4 million square feet of office space and nearly 600 hotel rooms, according to a statement from the firm, as well as a golf course. Office tenants include MetLife, TIAA, Wells Fargo and Liberty Mutual. Executives from Charlotte-based Bissell have joined Northwood to manage the property and continue its development.

Led by founder Smoky Bissell, his eponymous firm first announced plans for the corporate park in 1991 and broke ground in 1996, with construction continuing through 2016, according to local media. The corporate property is part of the larger 2,000-acre master-planned Ballantyne community, located in south Charlotte.

“What Smoky and the Bissell team have created in Ballantyne Corporate Park is remarkable,” John Kukral, Northwood's chief executive, said in a statement. “We are excited that the Bissell team will join Northwood and help lead the next phase of Ballantyne Corporate Park. This transaction represents one of our largest acquisitions to date and reinforces our commitment to Charlotte.”

Northwood has invested in the Charlotte area since 2011, when the firm partnered with David Ravin to form Northwood Ravin, a Charlotte-based multifamily development company that currently owns about 2,300 units. Northwood also owns two retail centers and is developing another master-planned community in the same market.