Vanbarton Group to sell Midtown office building for $126M

Vanbarton paid $81M for property in 2015
By Rich Bockmann | July 03, 2019 08:30AM

From left: The Vanbarton Group's Richard Coles, Gary Tischler and 45 West 45th Street

From left: The Vanbarton Group’s Richard Coles, Gary Tischler and 45 West 45th Street

Vanbarton Group is selling one of its Midtown office buildings a few blocks from Bryant Park for more than $125 million.

Richard Coles and Gary Tischler’s firm is in contract to sell the 16-story building at 45 West 45th Street to the Swiss real estate investment firm AFIAA for $126 million, sources told The Real Deal.

The contract price works out to a little more than $940 per rentable square foot.

A representative for Vanbarton Group declined to comment, and a spokesperson for AFIAA could not be immediately reached. A Hodges Ward Elliott team of Paul Gillen, Daniel Parker and Ariel Tambor marketed the property and negotiated the sale for Vanbarton. The brokers declined to comment.

The contract price is a premium of more than 50 percent of the $81 million Vanbarton paid in 2015 to buy the nearly 134,000-square-foot building from Queens-based landlord Samson Management.

At the time, the building’s tenants included a dollar store in the retail portion on the ground floor. Vanbarton spent about $12 million upgrading the property, bringing in tenants like the restaurant Valerie.

Flexible workspace startup Knotel earlier this year inked a lease for 35,000 square feet at the building.

AFIAA, meanwhile, is on its way to growing its real estate portfolio to $3 billion by 2021. The company, which is owned by 25 Swiss pension funds, started expanding into the United States in 2005 and made its first Manhattan acquisition in 2016: the $150 million purchase of the 12-story office property at 119-125 West 25th Street from Normandy Real Estate Partners.

Elsewhere, Vanbarton just closed on its $305 million purchase of a 41-story office tower in Seattle, the company’s first purchase out of its $1 billion gateway cities fund.

Vanbarton late last year closed on its $701 million purchase of the 780,000-square-foot office building at 425 Lexington Avenue.