The most ferocious investment firm of the last six months, Broadway Partners, is in contract to purchase 280 Park Avenue from Istithmar for a little more than $1.2 billion, a source said.
The building was purchased in a very quiet off-market transaction, and represents another gaudy move for the extremely young yet impossibly strong Broadway Partners.
The property consists of two connected buildings that make up 1.2 million square feet between 48th and 49th streets. Istithmar purchased it in June for $1.2 billion, and the source said that Broadway spent only a little more than that to acquire it.
This is just another deal in what has been a dizzying year for Broadway. The investment firm is in contract to purchase another national portfolio from Beacon Capital Partners for $5 billion, which includes 237 Park Avenue and 100 Wall Street. The company is also in contract to buy 450 West 33rd Street, and already owns 340 Madison Avenue, 522 Fifth Avenue and 660 Madison Avenue.
And in case you didn’t think so already, this is just further evidence of what is becoming fairly obvious: In a matter of six months, Broadway has transformed itself from fresh-faced newbie to one of the most formidable landlords in the city.
The deal also raises a curious question: What’s up with Istithmar? After spending a few years gobbling up so many city buildings and hotels, is the company from Dubai suddenly repositioning its strategy?
Just last week, Istithmar went to contract to sell 230 Park Avenue, a building it bought in 2005, for $1.15 billion, the New York Post reported.
But why would it back out of 280 Park Avenue so soon? If Istithmar planned to flip it all along, it doesn’t appear it expected a big profit.
MURRAY HILL PROPERTIES IS IN CONTRACT TO PURCHASE 1180 Avenue of the Americas for at least $300 million, a source said.
The 22-story, 340,000-square-foot tower isn’t the biggest on Sixth Avenue, but this sale is a crystal-clear indication of how strong the commercial market remains.
When the seller, Prudential Real Estate Investors, bought the building in December 2004, the company paid $153 million. Now, just two years later, the building’s value has doubled, and this relatively small 45-year-old building at the corner of 46th Street has sold for nearly $1,000 per square foot.
It’s Norman Sturner’s Murray Hill Properties that is in the winner’s circle after striking yet another big deal. The company closed on its buy of 1 Park Avenue for $550 million in March, and is in contract to sell 417 Fifth Avenue to Joseph Moinian for $250 million.
Mr. Sturner did not seem inclined to lose the bidding war for 1180, either. One landlord who bid on the building said Mr. Sturner’s offer was a “blowout.”
Meanwhile, the real-estate folks at Prudential are obviously thinking it’s time to cash out. When they bought 1180, representatives from the company said they planned to hold onto it for at least five years. But once their rival MetLife sold Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for $5.4 billion and then 200 Park Avenue for $1.72 billion, Prudential had to be thinking that it’s time to play catch-up.
So, off to sell buildings we go! Prudential had an ownership stake at 666 Fifth Avenue when it sold for $1.8 billion in January. And it’s Prudential that shares an ownership stake at the Lipstick Building, which is now on the market.
Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan of CB Richard Ellis are marketing Lipstick, and they did all the marketing for the 1180 deal.
The class-A 1180 Avenue of the Americas, which was renovated in 1984, includes E.W. Scripps Company, New York Life and Washington Mutual as its tenants.
BUY THIS TOWER AND SET A NEW TREND! A building that could reshape the investment sales market is officially on the market.
The building, at 450 Park Avenue, could fetch as much as $1,500 per square foot. Or maybe even more.
“At minimum, it should be at $1,500 per square foot,” said Paul Pariser, the co-founder of Taconic Investment Partners, which owns the building with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. “It’s in a spectacular location, so we’ll be exploring what that means.”
And soon the entire real-estate market will find out what that means too. But don’t underestimate Mr. Pariser. One investment sales broker who is not involved in this deal believes the $1,500 mark is exactly what this building could go for.
Of course, as a point of reference of just how much $1,500 per square foot means: 666 Fifth Avenue, which is the record-holder for the most expensive building ever sold, went for $1,200 per square foot.
The 32-story building is at the corner of 57th Street and has 313,000 square feet. Other than its location, the building has undergone a massive renovation and provides some of the best office space in the city.
And it also offers some of the biggest rents. Asking rents on available floors range from $110 per square foot to $140 per square foot, according to CoStar. CB Richard Ellis will handle all the leasing, though these floors won’t become available until after it sells, Mr. Pariser said.
The investment sales broker who is working on this deal and will be fielding all phone calls from eager buyers is Doug Harmon of Eastdil Secured.
OH, WOW, SPACE!
Brokers, stand back and get ready: A space of more than 200,000 contiguous square feet will open downtown this September at 4 New York Plaza.
At a time when it’s so impossible to find a big block of all-together office space in Manhattan, a rare opportunity strikes at the corner of Broad and Water streets.
Jones Lang LaSalle is marketing the space—they’ve already got information up on CoStar—and the rents are affordable too! Asking rent starts at $48 per square foot.
Sure, it’s not the place you’ll stuff your C.E.O., but if any bank or big financial firm needs a little breathing room, this will be the place to place an I.T. team or any other back office.
The space comes to the market from J.P. Morgan Chase, which owns the entire building and decided to sublease four floors.
The floors, 19 through 22, are the topmost in the building.
J.P. Morgan Chase will restack the rest of the building, shuffle its employees, and squeeze them onto other floors to open up this space.
Other than a discount, the sublease is a flexible one. It can run anywhere between 10 and 20 years.
The tower at 4 New York Plaza was constructed in 1969, and J.P. Morgan Chase has been the sole occupant ever since. It’s the first time the 1.1 million-square-foot downtown tower will have a new tenant.
The competition on the space should serve as a sign of exactly how tight this market is. A downtown office building that rents for less than $50 per square foot isn’t a typical place to find brokers banging each other over the head to bring in big-name tenants. But financial firms have a hearty need to find cheaper space, so bruising competition is exactly what you might find here.
Brokers, place your requests to the boys at Jones Lang LaSalle who are all listed on CoStar: Peter Riguardi, Christopher Krantz, Edward DiTolla and John Wheeler.