A test run for the Manhattan commercial market

March 01, 2010 01:35PM

With three large Manhattan commercial properties recently listed for sale, and another reportedly on its way to the block, prospective buyers are swirling and observers are wondering whether this is the beginning of a market comeback. Last month, Broadway Partners’ 340 Madison Avenue, the 740,000-square-foot office tower that has positive cash flow and is nearly 100 percent occupied, went on the market, and sources told Crain’s it is listed for about $700 per square foot. Joining 340 Madison Avenue on the market is the Helmsley Carlton House hotel at 680 Madison Avenue, which has apparently already drawn bids of $150 million-plus, and Hines Interests’ 600 Lexington Avenue, which went up for grabs last week. Shorenstein Properties is expected to begin shopping around its 125 Park Avenue office tower next week. Since none of these properties’ owners are desperate for cash, they could easily pull the buildings from the market if they don’t command what they view as a fair price, analysts say. Vulture investors have spent the last year building up war chests in the hopes that properties like these might eventually go up for sale, but whether investors and owners will be able to agree on pricing as the commercial market emerges from its crash remains to be seen. [Crain’s]