Here are NYC’s 10 biggest investment sales of 2019

The deals had a combined valuation of $8B, down slightly from the year before

TRD New York /
Dec.December 31, 2019 03:37 PM
Michael Shvo with 711 Fifth Avenue and Steve Ross with 30 Hudson Yards (Credit: Getty Images, Wikipedia, Google Maps)

Michael Shvo with 711 Fifth Avenue and Steve Ross with 30 Hudson Yards (Credit: Getty Images, Wikipedia, Google Maps)

WarnerMedia’s $2.16 billion sale-leaseback of its Hudson Yards office condo topped this year’s list of the 10 most expensive investment sales in New York.

In total, the 10 biggest deals of 2019 — all for Manhattan properties — had a combined value of $8.06 billion, just slightly below last year’s $8.36 billion.

1. 30 Hudson Yards condo | $2.16 billion
Buyer: Related Companies
Seller: WarnerMedia
Brokerage: Cushman & Wakefield

When WarnerMedia wanted to sell and lease back its 1.5 million-square-foot office condominium at 30 Hudson Yards, it didn’t have to look far for a buyer. Related Companies, which developed the 73-story tower, made the winning bid to buy the condo for $2.16 billion and lease it back to the media company for 20 years.

The deal was reminiscent of Related’s $1.3 billion purchase of TimeWarner’s office condo at the Time Warner Center in 2014 — a deal that helped facilitate the media company’s move to Hudson Yards.

2. 711 Fifth Avenue | $937 million
Buyer: Michael Shvo, Bilgili Holding, BVK, Deutsche Finance
Seller: Wafra Capital Partners
Brokerage: N/A

In one of the strangest flips in the history of Manhattan trophy office properties, Michael Shvo and his partners bought a majority stake in the Coca-Cola building, just weeks after the beverage giant turned down Shvo’s bid.

Shvo, along with frequent Turkish business partner Serdar Bilgili, the German pension fund BVK and Deutsche Finance, bought out the majority stake owned by Wafra Capital Partners in a deal valuing the 354,000-square-foot building at $937 million.

3. 711 Fifth Avenue | $909 million
Buyer: Nightingale Properties, Wafra Capital Partners
Seller: Coca-Cola Company
Brokerage: Cushman & Wakefield

Just weeks before Shvo purchased his majority stake, Nightingale Properties and Wafra Capital Partners bought the famed Coca-Cola building for $909 million. It was the culmination of a bumpy process that saw Nightingale’s lender back out at the last minute, and Nightingale file a lawsuit against Coca-Cola to try and salvage the deal.

4. 330 Madison Avenue | $900 million
Buyer: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
Seller: Vornado Realty Trust
Brokerage: CBRE

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority wanted to sell its 840,000-square-foot office building on Madison Avenue, but first it exercised an option to buy out partner Vornado Realty Trust’s 25-percent stake in the property.

That deal valued the building at $900 million in June. Later in the year, the ADIA struck a deal to sell the entire building to German reinsurance firm Munich RE for a price somewhere between $850 million and $900 million.

5. 424 Fifth Avenue | $850 million
Buyer: WeWork Property Advisors
Seller: Hudson’s Bay Company
Brokerage: N/A

Nearly 16 months after WeWork Property Advisors announced it was buying the Lord & Taylor building, the company finally closed the deal in February.

WeWork Property Advisors, an investment vehicle managed by the We Company and private equity firm Rhône Group, had to extend the deadline to close twice. This all happened before the We Company filed paperwork in August for its planned IPO, which kicked off a series of events leading to the ouster of company founder Adam Neumann. In late September, the firm said it would postpone a public offering.

6. 450 West 15th Street | $592 million
Buyer: Google
Seller: Jamestown Properties
Brokerage: Cushman & Wakefield

Google, which topped 2018’s list of the biggest investment sales with its $2.4 billion purchase of the Chelsea Market building, returns this year with another deal in the neighborhood.

Google paid $592 million to buy the Meatpacking District’s Milk Building from Jamestown Properties, which had sold the Chelsea Market building to the tech giant last year.

7. 885 Second Avenue | $566 million
Buyer: Rockpoint Group
Seller: Ruben Companies
Brokerage: Cushman & Wakefield

The Rockpoint Group returned to the negotiating table with Ruben Companies this year to buy One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza — the first time the tower traded since Lawrence Ruben developed the building in 1974.

The previous year, Rockpoint bought 1700 Broadway from Ruben Companies for $453 million — one of the biggest deals of 2018.

8. 850 Third Avenue | $422 million
Buyer: Jacob Chetrit
Seller: HNA Group, MHP Real Estate Services, ATCO Properties & Management
Brokerage: MHP Real Estate Services

Debt-laden HNA Group and its partners took a loss on this Third Avenue property when they sold it to Jacob Chetrit and his sons for $422 million.

HNA and the Sturner family’s MHP Real Estate Services paid $463 million for the building in 2016, a time when HNA and other Chinese firms were paying top dollar for Manhattan real estate.

9. 521 Fifth Avenue | $379 million
Buyer: Savanna
Seller: SL Green Realty, Quantum Global Real Estate Partners, LaSalle Investment Management
Brokerage: CBRE

Savanna picked up the former Lefcourt Colonial Building — home to tenants like Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, Urban Outfitters and Equinox — in March.

SL Green Realty owned a 50.5 percent stake in the 460,000-square-foot tower, with Quantum Global Real Estate Partners and LaSalle Investment Management owning the remaining 49.5 percent.

10. 345 Park Avenue South | $344.5 million
Buyer: Deerfield Management
Seller: RFR Realty
Brokerage: N/A

Deerfield Management, a medical fund manager overseeing $8 billion in assets, picked up 345 Park Avenue South, which it plans to convert into lab space for the life sciences industry.

Seller Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty had owned the 12-story property since 1992.

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