JPMorgan buys Lehman’s stake in 200 Fifth

Lehman Brothers has sold its 90-plus percent stake in the former International Toy Center at 200 Fifth Avenue to JPMorgan Chase, in a deal that values the building at $700 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Lehman had reportedly been shopping the building at the corner of 23rd Street that it bought for $480 million in 2007 through Eastdil Secured’s Adam Spies and Doug Harmon. At one point it appeared the failed investment bank would lose millions on the building as it struggled through vacancies in 2009. But an expensive interior upgrade and improving market helped lure tenants like Eataly and Tiffany & Co. to the building, instantly raising the building’s profile. It’s unclear whether the costly revamp sucked all potential profit from the trade. The Journal said that managers at the bank used the building’s turnaround as vindication for their strategy to hold on to real estate holdings through the downturn, even as a foreclosure auction is scheduled Wednesday for the property next door, 1107 Broadway. L&L Holdings entered a $161.5 million stalking-horse bid for it in June. [WSJ]

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