UPDATED, 6:30 p.m., July 27: The Birch Group has acquired a two-building office portfolio totaling 200,000 square feet in Princeton, New Jersey, as the company says it’s moving forward with its suburban office expansion.

The investment firm paid $47.3 million for a pair of three-story buildings at 600 and 700 Alexander Park Drive, it announced. The seller was BentallGreenOak.

Natixis provided the $37.8 million acquisition loan.

JLL’s Kevin O’Hearn and Jose Cruz represented the seller and the buyer in the transaction. JLL’s Greg Nalbandian advised on the financing. The brokerage is also leasing agent for the portfolio.

The 141,000-square-foot building at 600 Alexander is fully occupied by Mathematica, a national policy research firm. And the 72,000-square-foot building at 700 Alexander is 70 percent leased to multiple tenants, including Robert Half International, a publicly-traded recruiting company.

The region’s office market is facing low occupancy — as is much of the tristate area — and continued uncertainty as the pandemic-driven work-from-home landscape persists.

In the second quarter, New Jersey’s office vacancy rate hit a 15-year high of 18.8 percent, according to Avison Young. While some landlords have been unloading their properties, others are seeing opportunities amid the volatility. In April, Birch acquired Mack-Cali Realty’s office portfolio in Short Hills for $255 million.

Led by CEO and founder Mark Meisner, Nanuet, New York-based Birch has acquired nearly $800 million worth of office properties since 2019, the company said.

Source: The Real Deal