It’s among the world’s smallest countries, but that didn’t stop Equatorial Guinea from scooping up prime office condo space near the United Nation for $3.63 million. Indeed, the African nation of 676,000 people inked a deal last week for 8,067 square feet at 800 Second Avenue, a building already occupied by the consulates of Israel and Ecuador, among other countries.
Equatorial Guinea plans to combine two suites on the third floor previously owned by the American Payroll Association. The country, which is oil-rich and human rights-poor, had initially leased one of the suites for a 14-month period while it built out space at a midtown office building it owns. But, brokers say, consulate officials liked the lobby, tenancy and other amenities at the Second Avenue building so much that they chose to purchase there instead.
“They liked the natural light and all the windows,” said Dan Kaplan of CBRE, who represented the American Payroll Association alongside colleagues Tim Sheehan, Eric Yarbro and Ned Midgley. “It’s on the third floor, but it’s surprisingly quiet.” Added Mr. Sheehan: “We had a competing offer for the entire floor from an investor, but the pricing was better on this deal.” (There are, incidentally, 11,000 more square feet available on the same floor.)
PamCaba International Realty represented Equatorial Guinea, which had been leasing to a law firm and a division of the Red Cross.