Foreign buys of Manhattan commercial property shatters record

China, Canada most active international buyers
February 27, 2014 04:45PM

International buyers snapped up $5.5 billion worth of Manhattan office towers last year, led by deep-pocketed shoppers from China, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

The spending set a new foreign record investment record for commercial real estate in Manhattan, as as well as a new high for the total dollar amount — twice as much as the previous record of $3 billion in 2007, according to a new report from real estate brokerage Colliers International.

China led the way with bit-ticket purchases such as One Chase Manhattan Plaza, acquired by property group Fosun for over $700 million, and the GM Building at 767 Fifth Avenue, snapped by by real estate mogul Zhang Zin with a roughly $700 million stake.

Ivanhoe Cambridge, a large Canadian investment firm, picked up a nearly $900 million stake in 1211 Sixth Avenue, while the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Investment Authority plunked down $650 million for a stake in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle.

“These investors have been kicking the tires here for some time but they have finally educated themselves enough on the market to feel comfortable here and their participation has pushed the market to a record level,” James Murphy, a Colliers broker who co-authored the report, told Crain’s. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland