The Macklowe Selloff: What Happened to Harry’s Buildings

gmbuildingcollage 2 The Macklowe Selloff: What Happened to Harrys Buildings Good-bye to all that.

Last week’s news that a deal had been cut for the sale of Worldwide Plaza marks the coda of Harry Macklowe’s investment adventure. It began in the heady days of early 2007, when his Macklowe Properties—and various lenders—bought seven Manhattan towers via Blackstone and Sam Zell’s Equity Office Portfolio for over $7 billion.

The shakeout from that at-the-time applauded purchase eventually resulted in not only the seizure by creditors of all seven towers, including Worldwide Plaza, but the sale of four other Macklowe towers as well, including the GM Building.

To wit: The fate of the Macklowe empire.

 

1.  The General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue

Sold for $2.8 billion on June 9, 2008, to Mort Zuckerman’s Boston Properties

Mr. Zuckerman and partners from the Middle East, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley finalized this acquisition at 2 a.m. on May 24, 2008 (“I got great sleep last night,” Mr. Zuckerman told The Observer after the close). Harry Macklowe and son Billy had struggled for six months to pay off their debt while maintaining control of the GM Building, but it had to go. The $2.8 billion is the highest ever paid for an office building.

 
2.  Two Grand Central Tower (140 East 45th Street)

Sold for $427.9 million on August 12, 2008, to Mort Zuckerman’s Boston Properties

The 44-story office tower, which runs from 44th to 45th streets between Lexington and Third, may not have been part of the EOP portfolio, but was still among the most prestigious in the Macklowes’ portfolio. Most of the space in the glass-and-concrete edifice has tenants.

 

3.  540 Madison Avenue (at 55th Street)

Sold for $277.1 million on August 12, 2008, to Mort Zuckerman’s Boston Properties

While Mr. Macklowe purchased most of the other buildings on this list in his $7 billion gamble, he had owned 540 Madison Avenue for over a decade. He left his stamp on the 39-story scraper: He expanded the lower level, reconstructed the interior, and glamorized the building without greatly disrupting its high-power tenants. 

 

4.  125 West 55th Street

Sold for $444 million on August 13, 2008, to Mort Zuckerman’s Boston Properties

It may be only 23 stories high, but it takes up an entire block—spanning from 55th to 56th streets between Sixth and Seventh. Tenants include Milos restaurant and law firms like Dewey & LeBoeuf. Like the other three buildings in the Boston Properties’ deal, it was not part of the EOP portfolio.

 

5.  Park Avenue Tower at 65 East 55th Street

Sold for $630 million on June 30, 2008, to Shorenstein Properties

When San Francisco players the Shorensteins completed their purchase of the 36-story building last year, it was already 97 percent leased, with high-power tenants like hedge funds and law firms.

 

6.  850 Third Avenue

Sold for $300 million on June 30, 2008, to Shorenstein Properties

The 21-story building, which was 92 percent leased when the purchase was completed, includes tenants like Citibank, Discovery Communications, and a variety of law firms.