The Real Deal New York

The mysterious vacancy of 23 Wall Street

China Sonangol bought the property in 2008 but has been unable to line up a retail tenant
November 17, 2014 08:45AM

Among the banks, financial companies and roughly 60,000 residents of the Financial District, one iconic building remains empty.

The landmarked building, 23 Wall Street, is a former J.P. Morgan & Co. location.It was built roughly 100 years ago and is located across from the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall National Memorial.

So, why does it still sit empty?

China-based owner China Sonangol — which reportedly makes its money by pumping oil in Africa as well as building luxury skyscrapers in Singapore and Indonesia — bought the property in 2008 for $150 million, according to the New York Post, but can’t seem to find a retail tenant to move in. It’s the Chinese company’s only U.S.-based holding, the newspaper reported.

A team of Cushman & Wakefield brokers has been looking for a retail tenant, but to no avail.

It’s unclear why China Sonangol is holding onto the building, according to the newspaper, but things could change. Some sources told the Post that Sonangol is looking to sell the property, instead of leasing it. [NYP] — Claire Moses