Japanese firm buys Sherwood, JPMorgan’s 370 Lex for $247M

Unizo's recent NYC plays include 440 Ninth Avenue, Madison Square Park buildings

370 Lexington Avenue in Midtown (inset: Tetsuji Kosaki)
370 Lexington Avenue in Midtown (inset: Tetsuji Kosaki)

Japanese real estate investment firm Unizo Holdings is buying Sherwood Equities and JPMorgan Chase’s 370 Lexington Avenue office building in a $247 million deal.

The Tokyo-based company is in contract to acquire the 27-story, 311,000-square-foot Midtown building, which Sherwood and JPMorgan put on the market in June. Andrew Scandalios of HFF handled the sale on behalf of the sellers.

Unizo, which until recently was known as Jowa Holdings, is expected to close on the transaction in October through a U.S. subsidiary called Unizo Real Estate NY Three LLC, the firm announced.

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The company has been active in New York in recent years, according to Crain’s, having bought an 18-story, 400,000-square-foot Midtown building at 440 Ninth Avenue – also owned by Sherwood, through a joint partnership with Paramount Group – for $210 million in 2013.

In January, Unizo purchased two Madison Square Park office buildings from Brickman Real Estate and DivcoWest for $210 million. The firm followed up that deal with the February acquisition of a 10-story office building in Hell’s Kitchen for $165 million, as The Real Deal reported.

Sherwood and JPMorgan bought 370 Lexington Avenue for $155 million in September 2008, just as the financial crisis sent both the economy and real estate prices into freefall.

Sherwood, which managed the building, positioned it to cater to smaller office tenants, most of which take up between 1,500 and 5,000 square feet of space. That strategy has helped boost both the property’s value and occupancy, which is nearly full. [Crain’s]Rey Mashayekhi

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