Swiss pension fund to buy Normandy’s Chelsea office building for $150M

Top five floors of 138K sf property leased to cycling startup Peleton

From left: AFIAA CEO Stephan Kloess, 125 West 25th Street and Normandy's David Welsh
From left: AFIAA CEO Stephan Kloess, 125 West 25th Street and Normandy's David Welsh

UPDATED, 12:44 p.m., Sept. 9: The U.S. real estate arm of Swiss pension fund AFIAA is in contract to pay $150 million for a 12-story Chelsea office building, just three years after Normandy Real Estate Partners rescued the then-vacant property from foreclosure, sources told The Real Deal.

Normandy [TRDataCustom] and partners Waterbridge Capital and Japan-based NTT Urban Development have been in the process of giving the 138,000-square-foot Class A property at 125 West 25th Street a $20 million upgrade. Indoor cycling fitness startup Peloton signed a lease late last year for 40,750 square feet across the top four floors of the building.  Then, earlier this month, the company tacked on an extra floor, growing to roughly 52,600 square feet total.

The all-cash deal is slated to close for north of $1,000 per square foot. The $150 million price is nearly triple the $54.5 million that Normandy paid for it at a foreclosure auction in 2013.

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Eastdil Secured’s Adam Spies and Doug Harmon represented the sellers. Broker Samuel Lefkowitz is brokering the deal. They declined to comment, as did Normandy. A representative for AFIAA could not be reached.

The Swiss investors have been increasingly allotting funds for foreign real estate purchases, in the U.S. and elsewhere. AFIAA began expanding into the U.S. in 2005. The real estate purchase is AFIAA’s first in New York City, though the fund has made acquisitions in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Normandy, a Morristown, N.J.-based real estate investment firm founded by Finn Wentworth and David Welsh, recently closed on the $101 million purchase of a Greenwich Village office building at 797-799 Broadway in partnership with Ares Management.

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