The Real Deal New York

Investor group closes on 701 Seventh Avenue, considers hotel for site

October 17, 2012 12:00PM

A venture between Steven Witkoff and Michael Ashner has purchased 701 Seventh Avenue in Times Square, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Howard Michaels, chairman of the Carlton Group, who represented Witkoff in the acquisition, said the value of the transaction is approximately $2 billion, in a statement provided to The Real Deal.

The venture, which also includes Miami-based investment partner the Vector Group, aims to replace the two existing buildings, totaling 120,000 square feet, with “85,000 square feet of prime retail space and 24,000 square feet of LED signage,” according to Michaels’ release. The partnership is being led by a Vector-owned entity named New Valley LLC — Vector’s CEO, Howard Lorber, told Businessweek that the investors are considering redevelopment, which might include a 30-story hotel.

“The site is as-of-right for a 500-key hotel and some of the top hotel companies in the world are at Mr. Witkoff’s doorstep vying for him to build a completed hotel in arguably the number one tourist destination in the world,” said Michaels.

Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group provided the venture with a $475 million senior loan. [Businessweek] — Zachary Kussin

  • turd.c.ferguson

    would love to know HLM’s actual involvement here. Did he actually procure the money ? Or is this just a twisted press release taking credit for an ancillary involvement…and why does Winthrop continue to use Carlton? Public company could at least pony up for an intermediary with a better rep.

    • Ashley Schaffer

      Ashley Schaffer from Ashley Schaffer BMW…WOO!…I just got an email about buying Carlton. Sign me up! I want me some of those “dividends”…Woo…First thing I would do it cut brokers commissions..Woo! oh wait……..

  • CAK

    Regarding the deal.. I think the main problem is that Real Deal just publishes press releases without really double checking. I would suggest that Real Deal asks for all closing statements before publishing.

    Regarding buying Carlton..
    If Howard was doing so well he would never sell.. The turnover at Carlton is so high, the only performer thru smoke and mirrors is Howard… I do

  • thestraightener

    Why is it that Howard feels he is above washing his hands after using the men’s room? I have seen him emerge from a stall, clearly having done number 2, and exit straight out to the hallway.

    I have witnessed this firsthand and can attest to its authenticity.

  • Ashley Schaffer

    How about that ad in REA today!! Congratulating Carlton…ha! High school yearbook nonsense. So clear they took this ad out themselves…typical Carlton misrepresentation!!