417 Fifth Avenue in contract for $140M, Cushman says

The office building 417 Fifth Avenue, purchased by the Moinian Group and Goldman Sachs for $250 million three years ago, is in contract to a foreign buyer for $140 million, a report released yesterday by Cushman & Wakefield said.

The 408,000-square-foot building is 96 percent leased, but 25 percent of the leases expire in the next two years, the first quarter 2010 New York Capital Markets Group report said. 

The sale price would equate to $343 per square foot, a staggering loss for the buyers.  

Cushman, which represented the seller, declined to comment. Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.   

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Joseph Moinian, Moinian Group CEO, said in an e-mail through an outside spokesperson that he “declined to comment, confirm or deny any rumors about a transaction at 417 Fifth Avenue.”  

The office building located at Fifth Avenue and 38th Street was reported to be on the market in April 2009, and at that time the asking price was about $175 million to $200 million.

Moinian Group and Goldman Sachs, through one of the bank’s Whitehall Street Real Estate funds, bought the building in July 2007 for $250 million, taking over a $125 million loan from Barclays Bank, city property records show.   

In addition, the purchasers put down $95 million and Credit Suisse put in a $30 million mezzanine loan.

The Whitehall Street fund is down 98 cents on the dollar, the Financial Times reported recently.

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