Real estate and media tycoon Mort Zuckerman closed a record deal on the $2.8 billion GM Building today and still had time to make a lunch date with the Real Estate Board of New York.
Zuckerman, the scheduled speaker at a semi-annual REBNY members meeting, addressed about 650 real estate pros today.
“By coincidence, they were closing at the very time he was speaking,” REBNY President Steven Spinola said. “He didn’t obviously have to be at the closing.”
Zuckerman addressed the members about the economy, both national and local.
“He was concerned about the national economy, but much more positive about our regional economy,” Spinola said.
When asked why he would purchase the GM Building if the economy was in such dire straights, Zuckerman responded by saying that his decision was a long term one. “He was very optimistic” about the future, according to Spinola.
Zuckerman gave “a well delivered speech,” Spinola said.
Struggling real estate baron Harry Macklowe was forced to sell his prized GM Building to pay overdue short-term debt on the seven Midtown office buildings that he bought in a highly-leveraged deal last year.
Zuckerman’s Boston Properties, which was backed by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Middle Eastern investors, bought three other Midtown towers from Macklowe along with the GM Building, for a total price of $3.95 billion. The other properties are 125 West 55th Street, 2 Grand Central Tower and 540 Madison Avenue.
The deal was reflected in public records this afternoon.
Boston Properties put up a $165 million deposit to purchase a 49 percent ownership stake in the properties.