The Real Deal New York

NY REIT sells first office property since liquidation for $135M

Property was renovated by the new owners in 2012
By Kathryn Brenzel | August 08, 2017 10:35AM

Wendy Silverstein and 50 Varick Street (Credit: Sasha Maslov and Google Maps)

New York REIT has sold an office condo at 50 Varick Street for $135 million, the first deal to close since the company started liquidating.

Italian real estate firm Est4te Four purchased the 150,000-square-foot unit, which spans the fifth through seventh floors of the building, representatives for the real estate investment trust confirmed. Est4te actually led the renovation of the Tribeca building in 2012, converting the condo portion of the building into studio spaces for U.K.-based Spring Studios. Est4te purchased a $12 million stake in the building in 2010.

Representatives for Est4te did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

NYRT was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Adam Spies, Doug Harmon, Kevin Donner and Adam Doneger.

The sale nets the company $49.1 million, since the property was part of collateral on $760 million in financing. As a result of the sale, NYRT paid $78.1 million debt, as required by the loans.

The REIT announced in December that it would begin liquidating its office properties. The sale is the first announced since the REIT’s board named former Vornado Realty Trust executive Wendy Silverstein the company’s new CEO. In the years leading up to the leadership shake-up, the REIT was dogged by shareholder disputes, lackluster returns and a scandal involving the company’s former affiliate, American Realty Capital Partners. Silverstein is charged with shedding 4.4 million square feet of office space in deals that are expected to net company shareholders $1.55 billion. She’s said that she expects liquidation to be complete by the first quarter of 2018.

In June, the company bought the remaining 51 percent stake in One Worldwide Plaza, a 1.8-million-square-foot office tower. The next month, reports surfaced that SL Green Realty and RXR Realty were the favored bidders on the building, after offering $1.7 billion.

Cushman is also marketing the REIT’s “West Side Collection,” which includes 256 West 38th Street, 229 West 36th Street, 218 West 18th Street and 245 West 17th Street.

Est4te’s plans for the Tribeca building were not immediately clear. The firm recently abandoned plans for a $400 million, 1.2 million-square-foot mega-development in Red Hook. The company struggled to find financing for the project and decided to instead sell the six-building site to Sitex for $110 million.