Emmes in contract to buy 180 Water for $154M: sources

By Adam Pincus | July 08, 2013 06:15PM

The real estate investment firm Emmes Asset Management is in contract to buy the 24-story Lower Manhattan office building at 180 Water Street from Melohn Properties for approximately $154 million, several industry sources said. Emmes, led by Andrew Davidoff, inked a contract in mid-June to buy the 509,000-square-foot building, sources said. The closing is expected at the end of this month, a real estate source said. If completed, the sale would be at just over $302 per square foot.

The building was on the market last year, and Joseph Cayre’s Midtown Equities Group inked a soft contract to buy the building, which has an alternate address of 130 John Street, for more than $160 million. However, the deal was never finalized.

The building is not the only one in Lower Manhattan on the market. Eastdil Secured listed Savanna’s 5 Hanover Square, a 340,000-square-foot building, expecting to fetch about $300 per square foot.

The average sale price per foot for Manhattan office buildings was $846 in the first quarter, according to the most recent data from Massey Knakal Realty Services. However, those sales were all north of Canal Street, concentrated in Midtown.

The building, constructed in 1971, is home to the city’s Human Resources Administration, its only tenant, which is slated to move to 4 World Trade Center when the under-construction tower is complete.

Davidoff and Melohn Properties’ Alfons Melohn did not respond to requests for comment.

The Water Street building was damaged by Hurricane Sandy and remained closed for more than a month. In addition, it was one of the Lower Manhattan office buildings to see its city property tax assessment cut dramatically.

Emmes, a national firm headquartered in Midtown, owns 19 properties in Manhattan, more than in any other state or city, according to the firm’s website.