Retirement services firm TIAA-Cref is leading the race to buy 475 Fifth Avenue, between 40th and 41st streets, from Barclays Capital Real Estate, Crain’s reported, though no deal has been signed yet. Sources said the transaction was most likely valued between $100 million and $140 million.
Barclays reclaimed the building from Westbrook Partners and the Moinian Group in 2009 after they declined to put more equity in the building. L&L Holding Company managed the building until several months ago, when CB Richard Ellis took over. L&L sued Barclays earlier this year after it said it was denied first refusal on the property, despite a previous agreement. The suit was dropped.
Westbrook and Moinian paid $162 million for the 275,000-square-foot property in April 2007.
TIAA-Cref must be confident in a commercial market recovery, Crain’s said. Last year it purchased a completely empty building at 685 Third Avenue from Pfizer for $190 million. It is believed that there are still no tenants at the property. [Crain's]