Sleepy Southern Firm Gets $110 M. for Far West Side Building

Speaking of the West Side, it looks like Midtown West office space is enticing no matter how far it is from Park Avenue.

And no surprise here who’s buying: new names! And just in time before the lenders would take a big, sweaty grip around their necks.

The Maryland-based investment group Townsend Capital sold 521-533 West 57th Street for $110 million, according to city records. The 415,000-square-foot building, which sits between 10th and 11th avenues, was renovated in 1995 and, according to Townsend Capital’s Web site, is 95 percent leased. The main tenants at 521-533 West 57th Street are International Flavors and Fragrances and CBS Inc.

The building sits right next to the BMW building, which is off 11th Avenue.

Both buyer and seller have made some noise on the national real estate front.

The buyer is listed as Joseph Friedland. There’s a Joseph Friedland who’s a principal at JFR Global of Brooklyn.

Townsend Capital is a privately owned real estate investment company headquartered in Towson, Md. The company began acquiring vacant Class A commercial real estate in 1987, according to its Web site. While it initially focused on Houston, it has expanded to other parts of the country in recent years.

Even though Townsend Capital’s a seasoned on the national real estate scene, it’s a relative neophyte in the Manhattan real estate scene. But maybe Mr. Friedland, the buyer, is ahead of the curve: $265 per square foot for “midtown” office space is a steal these days.