From the New York December issue: A Japanese industrial firm paid $501 per square foot for a Midtown skyscraper known as Tower 49, a price that at the time was the highest ever paid for a Manhattan office building, 22 years ago this month. The company, Kato Kagaku, purchased the 45-story midblock high-rise at 12 East 49th Street, between Fifth and Madison avenues, from the building’s developers for $301 million. The 600,000-square-foot skyscraper was built by David Solomon, G. Ware Travelstead and First Boston on an irregular parcel extending from 48th to 49th Street and opened in 1984. Kato Kagaku, a manufacturer of corn-based products, still owns the building today. The tower is home to a variety of companies, including the corporate offices of retailer Saks Fifth Avenue, financial firm Steinberg Asset Management and the sales office for metal recycling firm Schnitzer Steel Industries. The previous highest price for a major Manhattan office building was the Japanese real estate company Shuwa’s purchase in June 1986 of the American Broadcasting Corporation building at 1330 Sixth Avenue for $175 million, about $365 per square foot.