In wake of AR Capital deal collapse, Marc Rowan leaves NY REIT board

Firm announces asset sales in Brooklyn, Queens

TRD New York /
Nov.November 16, 2015 11:55 AM

The fallout from Apollo Global Management’s aborted acquisition of Nicholas Schorsch’s real estate asset management business continues, with Apollo’s co-founder stepping down from New York REIT’s board of directors.

The New York-focused real estate investment trust announced Rowan’s resignation from its board of directors on Monday, less than seven weeks after his appointment last month as part of a “strategic review process” initiated in response to mounting shareholder criticism over the company’s stock price.

In a statement, Rowan cited as a factor in his departure “the recent announcement terminating” Apollo Global Management’s planned $378 million acquisition of the real estate asset management business of Schorsch’s AR Capital — which collapsed last week and would have included New York REIT.

Rowan, who co-founded private equity giant Apollo alongside Leon Black and several other partners in 1990, is the primary backer behind investment firm RWN Real Estate Partners, led by Ari Shalam. RWN’s recent deals include the purchase of an office building at 135 Bowery on the Lower East Side for $16.2 million.

The strategic review that saw Rowan’s appointment to New York REIT’s board also included tapping Eastdil Secured to advise on “potential strategic transactions at the asset or entity level” – such as the possible sale of the entire company – while continuing to market several “non-core assets” in the outer boroughs.

Reiterating its commitment to that process, the REIT announced two impending sales of two non-core retail assets in Brooklyn and Queens.

The sale agreements are for a nearly 20,000-square-foot property at 1623 Kings Highway in Brooklyn, for $17 million, and a 9,800-square-foot property at 163-30 Cross Bay Boulevard in Queens, for $12.6 million. The deals are valued at around $852 per square foot and $1,290 per square foot, respectively. The buyers weren’t disclosed.

New York REIT president and CEO Michael Happel said the company is receiving “considerable interest in our remaining two assets that we have for sale outside of Manhattan,” with Cushman & Wakefield leading the marketing process.

New York REIT announced a separate non-core asset sale – a Clinton Hill rental building it offloaded for $38 million – in September, and the company expects to make a combined $120 million from the sale of all five properties it placed on the market.

Meanwhile, the REIT said it had suspended its search for a permanent CFO, with Nicholas Radesca to continue in his current capacity as interim CFO “as the company moves forward with its strategic process.”

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