November’s top investment sales were case studies in “Buy low, sell high.” Some city property owners nearly doubled or tripled their original investments in deals last month. The 10 largest sales in New York City were a healthy mix of residential, office and retail properties. All but one took place in Manhattan. Here’s the full top 10 list of November’s biggest investment sales, based on The Real Deal reporting and CoStar Group data:
1) Global Holdings takes half-billion-dollar piece of Koreatown – $565 million
Monaco-based Global Holdings , best known in New York for teaming up with Zeckendorf Development and Rudin Management to produce Monaco-worthy condominiums, bought the 721,000-square-foot office tower at 1250 Broadway last month. The Koreatown property was owned by partnership between Murray Hill Properties and Jamestown Properties prior to sale. Brokers Doug Harmon and Adam Spies put the building on the market on behalf of the former owners before leaving Eastdil Secured for Cushman & Wakefield in October.
2) Art students in for new landlord following “Sledgehammer” sale – $174 million
Ben “Sledgehammer” Shaoul and partner Winter Properties sold a School of the Visual Arts dorm at 340 East 24th Street to Invesco Properties. Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group and Winter built the 14-story, 146,000-square-foot dorm in 2013, but the one-time squatter-chasing landlord has focused his attentions primarily on high-end condominium development since that time. Eastdil represented Magnum and Winter in the sale to Invesco.
3) Barings Real Estate sells UWS rental for 76% more than purchase price – $172.5 million
Barings Real Estate Advisers bought the 155-unit rental at 21 West 86th Street for $98 million in 2012 and last month sold it away to David Bistricer’s Clipper Equity for $172.5 million. The mostly market-rate property still contains 36 rent-stabilized units, but those rents are likely to be much higher than they once were, following individual apartment improvements made by Barings, according to a tenants’ lawsuit filed in 2014.
4) Taconic Investment Partners buys Village office building – $109 million
Essex Crossing co-developer Taconic Investment Partners, in partnership with TIAA Global Investment Management and Squire Investments, closed on the purchase of a 14-story office building at 817 Broadway for $109 million in November. The sellers were two families — the Levines and the Frankels — from Jericho, N.Y. The Social Services Employees Union is the building’s largest office tenant, currently leasing 24,000 square feet at the address.
5) Sitt sells Soho retail building for more than triple what he paid for it – $90 million
Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities sold the retail building at 155 Mercer Street for $90 million after paying just $27 million for it in 2012. Maryland-based ASB Investment Partners was the buyer of the property, which is anchored by a Dolce & Gabbana store. Meridian Capital Group’s Helen Hwang brokered the deal. Sitt still owns other nearby retail buildings at 169 Mercer Street and 424 Broome Street.
6) Tishman Speyer gets fresh air for Hudson Yards skyscraper – $78 million
Tishman Speyer closed on the $78 million purchase of air rights from the city government, a move that was announced many months ago. The rights are key for the construction of 66 Hudson Yards, a 65-story office tower called Spiral that the firm plans to build at a projected cost of $3.2 billion, according to filings with the New York City Industrial Development Agency. This is Tishman’s second air rights buy for the site. Last year the developer picked up 235,000 buildable square feet from land owners Arthur and Edward Imperatore.
7) Lightstone lets go of East Village rental for more than $1,000 a foot – $72.5 million
David Lichtenstein’s Lightstone Group sold a mostly market-rate, 121-unit rental at 85 East 10th Street for $72.5 million, or more than $1,000 per square foot. The buyer was Mallory Management. Lightstone had only acquired the building in a portfolio acquisition seven months ago. Multifamily sales in the East Village have hit $633 million in total dollar volume during 2016, according to CoStar.
8) Jehovah’s Witnesses building mystery buyer unveiled – $65 million
The elusive Williamsburg-based Rabsky Group was revealed as the buyer of a 41,000-square-foot Dumbo building previously owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The property has more than 157,000 square feet of construction rights for Rabsky, one of Brooklyn’s most active residential developers, to put to good use. Kushner Companies, with partners, has already bought up the bulk of the Witnesses’ other Dumbo properties. Per CoStar, there were $7.85 billion in investment sales in Brooklyn through the first 11 months of the year.
9) Perhaps real estate is a better fundraiser than Girl Scout cookies – $61 million
The Girl Scouts of USA sold four full-floor commercial condos 420 Fifth Avenue to AM Property Holdings and Quality Capital USA for $61 million. The Scouts bought the condos, where their national offices are headquarters, for $24 million back in 1991. The condos hold both retail and offices. Strangely, AM Property denied having bought the property at the time of sale, as TRD previously reported.
10) Catholic Church responds to deal calling – $50 million
Jeff Dagowitz, a rising hotelier, bought three parcels from the Archdiocese of New York on West 23rd and 24th Streets in Chelsea. The site includes the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul. Parishioners fought to keep the church from sale, but the Vatican ultimately decided to sell it to Dagowitz. The Vatican closed more than two dozen New York City churches last year as part of a larger reorganization plan to merge parishes.