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MetLife and partner buy Washington, D.C. building for $730 million

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - MetLife Inc and an undisclosed joint-venture partner have bought Washington D.C.'s largest, privately owned office building, the insurance company said on Thursday.

The purchase price for Constitution Center at 400 7th St. SW was about $730 million, a person familiar with the transaction said.

Insurers, hungry for yield, have been buying up well-leased buildings that offer higher returns than bonds and relatively similar safety.

The 10-story, 1.4 million square-foot building is fully leased. A $250 million renovation was completed earlier this year.

The building is home to major U.S. government agencies, such as the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Trade Commission.

MetLife's joint venture partner, an institutional investor whose identity was not disclosed, was advised by Clarion Partners LLc and Eastdil Secured brokered the sale.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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