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Safehold to Join MSCI REIT Index, Which Now Recognizes Ground Leases As Eligible Property

Posted by: | Posted on: May 16, 2020

Safehold,  a REIT that specializes in ground leases, will join the MSCI US REIT Index.

The New York-based REIT is the first company to join the index’s new category, which now recognizes ground leases as an eligible property type. Safeguard is the first and only company in the category.

The RMZ is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index. It includes securities classified under the Equity REITs Industry according to the Global Industry Classification Standard, which have core real estate exposure, and carry REIT tax status.

“We’re pleased to see growing adoption of modernized ground leases, not only among customers and investors, but also from the index community, as we continue to educate the marketplace about our unique business,” said Jay Sugarman, Safehold’s chairman and CEO. “Our inclusion in one of the most widely followed REIT indices will increase our visibility and allow us to reach a broader pool of investors.”

In 2019, Safehold’s transactions in the Manhattan office market totaled $1.35 billion and included a $180 million ground lease near Grand Central Terminal; a $235 million ground lease at 135 West 50th St.; a $620 million lease on Park Ave.; and a $275 million lease in Downtown Manhattan.

Outside of the Big Apple, Safehold acquired a $195 million ground lease for a Hawaii resort, and it was also involved last year in deals in Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. The company’s founder and investment manager, iStar Inc., closed a $443 million cold storage net lease sale last year.

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