The Real Deal New York

Commerzbank arm snagging NYU Langone building for $330M-plus

Columbia Property Trust near deal to sell 222 East 41st Street
By Mark Maurer | Twitter_logo_blue copy April 30, 2018 12:43PM

Andreas Muschter, Nelson Mills and 222 East 41st Street

Columbia Property Trust has found a buyer for its nearly 400,000-square-foot Midtown building entirely leased to NYU Langone Medical Center.

Commerz Real, the asset-management subsidiary of Germany-based Commerzbank, is set to acquire the 25-story property at 222 East 41st Street for north of $330 million, or about $850 per square foot, sources told The Real Deal.

Prior to law firm Jones Day vacating in 2016, the Atlanta-based real estate investment trust signed NYU Langone to a 30-year, triple-net-lease agreement for the full 389,500-square-foot property. The lease was one of the largest long-term medical-use deals in years.

Then, in January, the REIT put the building on the market through a CBRE team led by Darcy Stacom.

A spokesperson for Columbia Property Trust declined to comment, but CEO Nelson Mills said in a quarterly earnings call last week that the marketing efforts were moving forward. He said he expected the deal to close in a few months, with a cap rate in the low-4s and net proceeds in the low $300 million range.

“What’s most exciting to me is our financial outlook and forward growth trajectory, derived from the high quality portfolio we’ve assembled in the more desirable markets,” Mills said. “And the leasing we’ve accomplished that [has] created an embedded growth story.”

The REIT paid $320 million for the property in 2007, six years after it was constructed.

Neither CBRE nor Commerz Real could be immediately reached for comment.

Commerz Real is relatively new to investment in New York City real estate. In its only other known purchase, the firm bought the Soho Hotel at 11 Howard Street from Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty for $170 million in 2016.

Christian Bautista contributed reporting.