Blackstone pays $160M for Africa Israel Times Square condo

Entire fee used to pay down portion of mortgage debt

Apr.April 28, 2011 07:13 PM

Private equity firm Blackstone Group paid $160 million for the top 12 floors of the
old New York Times Building at 229 West 43rd Street, owned by a partnership of
real estate developer Africa Israel USA and private equity firm Five Mile Capital,
the sellers announced in a statement.

Blackstone bought the office condominium comprised of a portion of the 4th floor
as well as floors 5 through 16, Africa Israel said in the statement. The sale closed
this afternoon.

The exact size of the condo was not released, but public records indicate it is
about 600,000 square feet of the 745,000-square-foot building, which would
amount to a price of $267 per square foot.

“We are making a significant real estate contribution to the neighborhood for which we are proud,” Tamir Kazaz, CEO of Africa Israel USA, said in the statement. Blackstone declined to comment.

In an interview with The Real Deal, Kazaz said all the funds from the sale were
used to pay down a portion of the $265 million first mortgage as well as an additional revolving credit line, both held by Banco

Inbursa. A mortgage of $180 million remains on the 245,000-square-foot retail
portion, comprised of floors 1 through 4, and two lower level floors, Kazaz said.
That would yield a debt of $735 per square foot on the retail portion, which is
about 80 percent leased.

Tenants include discount retailer Daffy’s, bowling alley Bowlmor
which is taking about 70,000 square feet on the third and part of the fourth floor,
and Discovery Times Square.

Prior efforts to develop the upper portion as a hotel were
abandoned, as previously reported.

The sale has not yet been published in city property records.

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