Foreigners eye trophy towers

June 12, 2008 09:11AM

Foreigners have their sights set on iconic New York City towers, but seem content to operate in the background. The Post reports that Abu Dhabi Investment Council could spend $800 million on a 75 percent stake in the Chrysler Building, but would remain a silent partner, leaving Tishman Speyer, which has a 25 percent stake, to control the building. Time reports that Italian real estate investor Valter Mainetti has purchased a majority stake in the Flatiron building. The Mort Zuckerman-led group that just closed on the GM Building was backed by Middle Eastern investors. The trend isn’t new: Istithmar, a Dubai fund, bought the Helmsley tower at 230 Park Avenue in November 2005 for $705 million, and also bought 450 Lexington Avenue and the Knickerbocker Hotel at 6 Times Square. Last year, Israeli investors bought the Lipstick Building at 53rd Street and Third Avenue. Israeli firm Elad Properties bought the Plaza Hotel for $675 million in 2004 and transformed much of it into a phenomenally successful condo building. TRD

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