Lehman to unload Toy Center stake

May 16, 2011 09:57AM

The Lehman Brothers Holdings estate is looking to unload its 90 percent equity stake in the former International Toy Center building at 200 Fifth Avenue, the Wall Street Journal reported. The bank bought the 800,000-square-foot property in partnership with L&L Holding for $480 million in May 2007, after which its value plunged to below the value of the $390 million mortgage. But with the Manhattan office market on the rebound, and several big-name tenants — including Eataly and Tiffany & Co. — now in place, the property is again worth more than the debt, and Lehman, which has been holding on to many of its real estate assets on the assumption that the market will eventually improve, is now ready to sell. Jeff Fitz, managing director at restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal, which is overseeing the Lehman portfolio, said the Toy Center is “a perfect example of how actively stabilizing our real-estate assets in lieu of selling in a down market has made sense.” Eastdil Secured is marketing the Lehman stake, while L&L plans to retain its stake in the building. [WSJ]