One Worldwide Plaza hitting the market

NY REIT taps Eastdil's March to sell either stake or full tower, which insiders say could fetch $1.8B

From left: Roy March, One Worldwide Plaza and Wendy Silverstein
From left: Roy March, One Worldwide Plaza and Wendy Silverstein

New York REIT’s One Worldwide Plaza, a 1.8 million-square-foot skyscraper in Midtown that was valued at $1.45 billion in 2013, is coming back to the market with Eastdil Secured.

New York REIT retained an Eastdil team led by Roy March [TRDataCustom] and David Lazarus to begin marketing its 49 percent stake in the Midtown office property One Worldwide Plaza early next month. The real estate investment trust, which is in the process of liquidating all of its assets, has the option to buy the remaining 51 percent stake of the 1.8 million-square-foot tower, though it is unclear if they will exercise that option prior to selling.

That option, if New York REIT were to act on it, could result in an investor acquiring the 50-story tower outright. Therefore, “100 percent of the economics” is up for grabs, said a source familiar with the building, located at West 50th Street and Eighth Avenue. George Comfort & Sons and partners own the remaining stake.

Tenants at the tower include law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Japanese investment banking firm Nomura Holdings America.

Insiders said the property could now fetch $1.8 billion, or $1,000 per square foot. Two other trophy Midtown towers, 1285 Sixth Avenue and 787 Seventh Avenue, sold in the $1,000-per-square-foot range – for $917 and $1,117 per square foot, respectively.

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In 2013, New York REIT, then called American Realty Capital New York Recovery REIT, took the 49 percent stake in One Worldwide Plaza, thus valuing the building at the time at $1.45 billion.

Eastdil Secured continues to represent the ownership despite its star brokers Doug Harmon and Adam Spies decamping in October for Cushman. Harmon and Spies initially brought the building to market in 2012. The duo also brokered New York REIT’s $335 million purchase of Twitter’s headquarters at 245-249 West 17th Street from Savanna in 2014.

The struggling REIT hired Eastdil in October 2015 to advise on potential strategic transactions.

Real Estate Alert first reported the news of the tower hitting the market. Eastdil Secured declined to comment.

In December, New York REIT’s board members selected the Wendy Silverstein-led company Winthrop REIT Advisors as its external manager to oversee the planned liquidation.