HFZ flips $130M retail in Westbrook portfolio purchase: sources

Madison Capital acquires store units at the base of the Astor and the Metro buildings

New York /
Dec.December 20, 2013 04:40 PM

Midtown-based investment fund Madison Capital paid $130 million yesterday for two retail assets — one on the Upper West Side and another in Hell’s Kitchen — owned by Westbrook Partners, as part of a transaction that included HFZ Capital Group, sources close to the deal told The Real Deal.

Ziel Feldman’s HFZ inked a contract this summer to buy the Astor and Metro and two other apartment buildings from Westbrook for about $610 million. But before the deal closed yesterday, HFZ arranged to have Westbrook transfer the retail portion of the Astor and Metro to Madison. Both the Madison and the HFZ acquisitions from Westbrook closed yesterday.

The more valuable retail, according to insiders, is the approximately 19,000 square feet at the base of the Astor on the Upper West Side. The 212-unit apartment building at 235 West 75th Street has 210 feet of frontage along the west side of Broadway, as well as frontage on 75th and 76th streets, an analysis of data on real estate information site PropertyShark shows.

Tenants include apparel retailers Barney’s and Lululemon and makeup store L’Occitane en Provence.

“The western side of Broadway [between 72nd and 96th] is considered stronger [than the eastern side],” said Jason Pruger, executive managing director with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Retail, who was not involved in the transaction. On the west side of Broadway, rents are typically 15 to 20 percent higher, he said.

L’Occitane inked a deal last year with a starting rent of about $400 per square foot, higher than the typical $250 per foot to $350 per foot on the stretch, sources said.

The other retail location was at the base of the Metro, a 264-unit rental tower at 301 West 53rd Street on Eighth Avenue, which has approximately 16,000 square feet of retail, insiders said.

That space includes the grocery store Gristedes, as well as other local retailers.

The brokerage team of Douglas Harmon and Adam Spies at Eastdil Secured brokered both Westbrook’s sale to HFZ and the retail sale to Madison, sources said. Eastdil also originated a first mortgage loan on behalf of HFZ with Deutsche Bank. Eastdil and HFZ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Madison declined to comment.

Feldman’s contract this summer included the Astor, the Metro, the 105-unit LexLofts at 90 Lexington Avenue and the adjacent 177-unit tower at 88 Lexington Avenue, between East 26th and East 27th streets in Nomad.

HFZ filed applications last month to convert three of the residential towers to condominiums, as TRD reported.

Westbrook sold the four apartment buildings as part of a six-building portfolio that Eastdil brought to market in April.

One of the other two buildings, 295 Madison Avenue already sold to the Eretz Group.


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