John Hancock acquires two prime real estate assets in key U.S. markets

Acquisitions in Irvine, California and Princeton, New Jersey bring further geographic diversity to US$4.6 billion real estate portfolio in the United States

Irvine, CA and Princeton, NJ - John Hancock, the U.S. unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, one of the largest life insurance companies in the world, has acquired two new real estate assets – 3161 Michelson Drive in Irvine, California and a two-building office complex, West Windsor Commons, in Princeton, New Jersey. The recent acquisitions add to the Company’s established real estate portfolio in California and increase its scope in the New York / New Jersey Metropolitan area, bringing further geographic diversity to John Hancock’s US$4.6 billion real estate investment portfolio in the United States.

“We have extensive expertise in real estate that spans more than six decades and are always looking for the right opportunities to grow the Company’s real estate investment portfolio in our key markets across Canada, Asia and the United States,” said Kevin Adolphe, President and CEO of Manulife Real Estate. “We are extremely pleased to secure these two quality assets – they are excellent additions to our John Hancock portfolio of real estate assets in the United States.”

As at June 30, 2012, John Hancock’s U.S. real estate portfolio represented a market value of US$4.6 billion (C$4.7 billion) with properties totaling 20.4 million square feet in Boston, New York City Metro, Washington DC, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“The Michelson and West Windsor properties are both of the highest quality and extremely well leased with strong tenant rosters, in absolutely superb locations – key characteristics that support our strategy to invest in core real estate assets with solid long-term value,” added Ted Willcocks, Global Head of Asset Management for Manulife Real Estate.

The Michelson, 3161 Michelson Drive, Irvine (Orange County), California
The Michelson, a 536,307-square-foot, 19-story office tower at 3161 Michelson Drive in Irvine, California, was acquired in a deal that closed August 30, 2012. Developed in 2007 and renowned for its distinctive architecture and state-of-the-art systems, the LEED-Gold certified building is widely recognized as one of the premier properties in Southern California’s Orange County submarket.

The Company has a longstanding presence in the California real estate landscape, having first entered the market in the early 1970s with properties throughout greater Los Angeles and San Diego. Expansion to San Francisco came in September 2010 with the purchase of Market Center, a 770,000-square-foot, two-building office complex in the city’s downtown core. Today, John Hancock’s California real estate portfolio consists of 30 properties totaling approximately eight million square feet.

Eastdil Secured acted as broker on The Michelson transaction.

West Windsor Commons, 7&9 Roszel Road, West Windsor (Princeton), New Jersey
West Windsor Commons, a 303,756-square-foot, two-building office complex in the prestigious Princeton / Route 1 Corridor was acquired on September 25, 2012. Developed in 1999, the complex sits on a picturesque 24-acre site and features a landscaped courtyard, ponds with water fountains and extensive on-site amenities including dining, fitness and conference spaces.

West Windsor Commons marks the Company’s second real estate investment in New Jersey in less than a year. In December 2011, John Hancock purchased 10 Exchange Place in Jersey City, a 748,000-square-foot, 30-story office tower overlooking Manhattan.

The New Jersey and New York offices of HFF acted as broker on the West Windsor Commons transaction.

About Manulife Real Estate
Manulife Real Estate™ is the global real estate arm of Manulife Financial Corporation with fully integrated in-house capabilities and over 60 years of experience as an active investor, owner, developer and asset manager of commercial real estate. Diversified by both geography and asset type, the portfolio consists primarily of prime office and industrial properties, as well as select retail and multi-family residential properties, in key metropolitan centers throughout Canada, Asia and in the United States, through its U.S. unit, John Hancock. In addition to equity real estate, Manulife Real Estate manages the space requirements and own use facilities to accommodate Manulife Financial’s 24,000-plus employees around the globe. In February 2011, Manulife Real Estate launched a new real estate fund platform, extending the benefit of its long established real estate asset management expertise to institutional investors. As at June 30, 2012, Manulife’s real estate portfolio totaled 35.5 million square feet with a market value of C$8.6 billion (US$8.4 billion). Additional information about Manulife Real Estate can be found at