KKR founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts may be stepping down, but their private equity shop is looking up. Way up.
The company just bought a majority stake in the observation deck at Hudson Yards – the tallest outdoor deck in the Western hemisphere – for more than $500 million, property records show.
KKR bought the space, called Edge, at the top of 30 Hudson Yards from the Related Companies, according to records.
Representatives for KKR and Related confirmed the purchase in a joint statement, adding that “Edge will continue to be managed by the Hudson Yards Experiences team.”
The total purchase price was $508.5 million. PincusCo first reported the sale.
The acquisition is a big bet on the future of entertainment and tourism in the city. The Big Apple’s observation decks took a huge hit during the pandemic as tourism ground to a halt. The owner of the Empire State Building, Empire State Realty Trust, said admissions to the landmark’s observation deck fell to just 9 percent of 2019 levels at the start of the year.
Hudson Yards’ deck faces stiff and increasing competition. In addition to observatories at Rockefeller Center and One World Trade Center, the viewing space at SL Green Realty’s One Vanderbilt opens in two days. The Empire State Building’s 102nd-floor deck was renovated in 2019.
The $500 million KKR paid is a big price tag for a big tower. At 73 stories tall, 30 Hudson Yards is valued well in excess of $2.2 billion. That’s the sum Related paid in 2019 when it bought the 26-floor office condo in the base of the building from WarnerMedia. Edge charges $36 for adults and $31 for kids ages 6 through 12 for tickets purchased online.
Both KKR and Related have their offices in the 2.6 million-square-foot tower as well.
Kravis and Roberts are reportedly leaving as co-CEOs of the company they founded in 1976. Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall will succeed them.