Lehman Brothers, with $10B in real estate assets, considers best time to sell

237 Park Avenue
237 Park Avenue

Despite four years having passed since it filed for bankruptcy protections, fallen investment bank Lehman Brothers is biding its time before selling off its remaining assets in an effort to derive every possible dollar from its portfolio, the New York Times reported.

In New York, Lehman has set about buying out partners, paying off loans and making improvements to some of its holdings in an effort to increase potential resale values. At 200 Fifth Avenue, for instance, Lehman worked with L&L Holdings to restructure its debt and the property and bring in a wave of new tenants. The building’s occupancy rate has soared to 80 percent after lingering at 45 percent in 2010, the Times noted. Last year, Lehman sold its stake in the building to J.P. Morgan in a deal that valued the building at $700 million.

“In the dark days, our equity position on that building was worth almost nothing, and we pulled out way more than nothing when it sold,” said Jeff Fitts, head of real estate for Lehman.

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Still, Lehman has a ways to go. It stills controls real estate assets worth more than $10 billion in the city. In Manhattan, it owns an office building at 237 Park Avenue and a boutique hotel named On the Ave at 2178 Broadway. [NYTimes]Katherine Clarke