The Real Deal New York

Blackstone sells ex-NYT offices to Columbia Property Trust for $516M

Private equity firm purchased the office condo for $160M in 2011

July 24, 2015 08:00AM

229 West 43rd Street near Times Square (inset: Blackstone Group global head of real estate Jonathan Gray)

229 West 43rd Street near Times Square (inset: Blackstone Group global head of real estate Jonathan Gray)

Blackstone Group sold the office portion of the former New York Times building for $516 million to Columbia Property Trust, just four years after purchasing it for $160 million.

The property is a 12-story office condo at 229 West 43rd Street in the Times Square area, in the historic building that housed the New York Times headquarters from 1913 to 2007.

Since its purchase, Blackstone has spent $105 million on renovations and signed major tenants including Yahoo, which is leasing five floors. The condo as a whole is 98 percent leased. In May, it was reported that the private equity giant was looking to sell for $525 million.

The office condo is expected to have a first-year net operating income of $22.3 million, according to a press release from Columbia.

“Acquiring this iconic property with such strong tenancy and below-market rents at attractive pricing compared with other New York transactions enables us to increase exposure in what will be our second largest market, while spreading out lease maturities and capital commitments,” said Columbia CEO Nelson Mills. San Francisco is Columbia’s largest market.

The remaining portion of the building is retail space, which was purchased by Kushner Cos. for $296 million earlier this year.

This week, it was reported that Blackstone is purchasing a residential portfolio from the Caiola family for $700 million. — Tess Hofmann

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