The Real Deal New York

David Werner buying Pfizer’s Midtown HQ for $360M

Pharma giant finalizes deal at Tishman Speyer's West Side skyscraper; Midtown properties stand to gain from area rezoning
By Mark Maurer | April 10, 2018 09:16AM

219 and 235 East 42nd Street, Adam Spies and Pfizer’s Ian C. Read

UPDATED, 2:03 p.m., April 10: As it finalized its new lease at a proposed Hudson Yards skyscraper, Pfizer struck a deal to sell its longtime Midtown office buildings on East 42nd Street to David Werner for about $360 million, The Real Deal has learned.

The pharmaceutical giant has been searching for a buyer for the properties at 219 and 235 East 42nd Street while it negotiated to relocate elsewhere. The buildings span a total of 1.1 million square feet.

Related: Tishman Speyer picks up Pfizer as anchor tenant
for Spiral, lands mammoth construction loan

The deal would be for the fee position at 219 and the leasehold position at 235, sources said. It would involve a leaseback to Pfizer of at least five years, given that the company’s new home at Tishman Speyer’s Spiral is not expected to be ready until 2022.

On Tuesday, Tishman Speyer announced that it had finalized lease terms with Pfizer for 800,000 square feet at the Spiral, its Bjarke Ingels-designed skyscraper at 66 Hudson Boulevard. The announcement also noted that Pfizer had agreed to sell the 42nd Street buildings, but did not disclose the buyer or the price.

Sources said Werner is still weighing his plan for the buildings, which could benefit significantly from the Midtown East rezoning.

A Cushman & Wakefield team led by Adam Spies, Doug Harmon, Josh King and Bob Knakal is brokering the sale of the buildings. Their colleagues Josh Kuriloff and Peyton Horn brokered Pfizer’s new lease deal.

A spokesperson for Pfizer said: “We’re pursuing a sale of our current headquarters at 235 and 219 East 42nd street. We are still in the process of this work, and we are pleased that there is interest in our property. At this stage, however, we cannot comment on any ongoing discussions.”

Representatives for Werner could not be reached. Tishman Speyer and Cushman declined to comment.

Werner, a press-shy Brooklyn-based investor, also owns the Socony Mobil Building and — in partnership with RXR Realty — 5 Times Square. He’s known as one of the most active syndicators of big real estate deals in New York.