Hines Interests is in contract to sell the imposing hexagon-topped former Morgan Stanley hub at 750 Seventh Avenue, multiple sources told The Observer.
Interest from bidders was “through the roof,” according to one person involved in the process, with 20 to 30 prospective buyers, including a number foreigners from the Middle East and Asia. An offshore investor was the winner, taking home the 36-story, 600,000-square-foot Class A office tower at Seventh Avenue and 48th Street, according to sources familiar with the bidding but not directly involved in the deal. We’re trying to track down more details about the price and the buyer’s identity.
The Observer reported in early March that the property was being quietly shopped by CB Richard Ellis‘ Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan (Ms. Stacom declined to comment). Hines, a Texas-based real estate investment firm, with $22.9 billion in assets worldwide, bought the 600,000-square-foot midtown prize in partnership with General Motors in 2000 for $150 million, or $260 a square foot. The city’s 74th-tallest building was completed in 1989 by Solomon Equities, featuring such dubious architectural features as a fake glass chimney, an uncanny resemblance to the neighboring Death Star, and an unmistakable sway in a brisk fall wind. The victim of ’80s overbuilding, it was purchased shortly afterward by Morgan Stanley.
The bank continues to occupy more than 300,000 square feet, or half the tower, and as of this fall was considering consolidating its back offices into a large block of vacant space in the building, across the street from its headquarters, Bloomberg reported. Other major tenants in the building include Mendes and Mount and Ernst & Young.