By Joshua Burd
After starting as an investor in several projects by Normandy Real Estate Partners, a Japanese development group has expanded its role by becoming a partner of the Morristown-based firm.
Normandy announced Thursday that it has sold a 15 percent common equity interest in its management platform to NTT Urban Development Corp., a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based, publicly traded Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. The alliance will allow Normandy to “better meet the growing needs of its investor base,” the firm said, while allowing both organizations to expand their presence in the region.
“Today’s news puts Normandy in a position to continue delivering superior results for all of our investors and partners,” said Finn Wentworth, founder and partner of Normandy Real Estate Partners. “Japanese investors are expected to be a growing and important source of equity capital targeting real estate investment in the U.S. Our affiliation with NTTUD will leave us strategically well positioned for future growth.”
The move is aimed at Normandy’s target markets of New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C., with a focus on office and mixed-use properties in urban and transit-oriented locations, the firm said in a news release. Normandy will continue to be overseen and controlled by its three founders and partners, Wentworth, David Welsh and Jeff Gronning, and will continue to raise commingled real estate funds and joint ventures going forward.
“Our goal when we first started looking at the U.S. market in 2013 was to identify a best-in-class real estate operator, and we chose Normandy based on their strong track record and local expertise,” said Hideyuki Yamasawa, executive vice president for global business department at NTT Urban Development. “Following our initial co-investment in Normandy Real Estate Fund III’s 119 W. 25th Street project, we have made a total of five co-investments.
“With these successful investments, we have now decided to expand the relationship.”