Blackstone bought stake in Helmsley Building

Fund manager partnered with RXR in $1.2B acquisition

From left: Scott Rechler, 230 Park Avenue and Jonathan Gray
From left: Scott Rechler, 230 Park Avenue and Jonathan Gray

The Blackstone Group partnered with RXR Realty in its $1.2 billion acquisition of the Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue and holds a minority stake in the tower, RXR’s CEO Scott Rechler told The Real Deal.

RXR announced the acquisition in May, but at the time no partners on the deal were revealed. A source close to Blackstone confirmed the joint venture arrangement. It wasn’t immediately clear how large the fund manager’s stake is, how much it paid for it, or which if its real estate funds was involved.

RXR and Blackstone bought the 1.4 million-square-foot, 34-story office building located just north of Grand Central Terminal from a partnership between Invesco, Monday Properties and South Korea’s Pension Service. Monday Properties had bought the tower for $1.15 billion at the height of the last market cycle in 2007, at the time with different partners.

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This isn’t the first time the two firms partnered up. In February, RXR sold a 50 percent stake in a portfolio of New York office buildings to Blackstone, valuing the properties at a combined $4 billion.

Blackstone has been one of the most active players in New York commercial real estate in 2015. After selling the Waldorf Astoria hotel to Chinese insurer Anbang Group for $1.95 billion in late 2014, the fund manager sold the office building 717 Fifth Avenue to Anbang for $415 million in May and last month sold the old New York Times Building to Columbia Property Trust for $516 million.

Apart from likely spending more than $2 billion on its deals with RXR in 2015, the firm also dished out $400 million for a mall and parking garage in Flushing and $700 million for the Caiola family’s Manhattan residential portfolio.