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Fortis mulling plan to list office stock

By Konrad Putzier

Fortis Property Group is reportedly considering an unusual way to raise capital: listing a portion of a building as a stock.

The firm is in early talks with financial firm ETRE to list part of the State Street Financial Center in Boston on a public stock exchange, according to people familiar with the matter.

ETRE, founded in 2012 by Jesse Stein and Paul Frischer, helps developers and building owners list their properties on NASDAQ in exchange for a fee. The State Street Financial Center would be ETRE’s first successful IPO.

Fortis did not respond to requests for comment. ETRE declined to comment for this article.

The State Street financial tower
The State Street financial tower

Fortis bought the 1.05 million s/f office building in 2006 at 1 Lincoln Street in downtown Boston for $880 million in 2008.

With U.S. stock indices at record highs, selling shares has become an increasingly attractive source of capital for real estate investors.

Last week, New York-based Paramount Group raised $2.29 billion in what was reportedly the largest initial public offering ever by a real estate investment trust.

So far, the only way for real estate investors to tap into the stock market has been to list entire portfolios as a REIT. ETRE hopes to change that

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