245 Park buyer HNA is exploring a sale of 1180 Sixth Avenue: sources

Firm bought 90% stake in 2011 for $259M

1180 Sixth Avenue and Chen Feng (Credit: Getty Images)
1180 Sixth Avenue and Chen Feng (Credit: Getty Images)

HNA Property Group, the Chinese conglomerate behind the $2.2 billion deal for 245 Park Avenue, is exploring a sale of one of its New York assets, its stake in 1180 Avenue of the Americas, sources told The Real Deal.

People with knowledge of the company’s plans said the process of marketing the property is in the very early stages, but HNA has tapped Eastdil Secured to lead the sales effort.

HNA, headed by Chen Feng, bought a 90 percent stake in the 383,983-square-foot office building, between 46th and 47th streets, for $259 million in 2011. It acquired it from the Carlyle Group, which was delinquent on $277.5 million in loans attached to the building at the time.

Murray Hill Properties is its partner on the property.

Norman Sturner of MHP

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Major stakes in Class A office towers in the neighborhood, such as 1285 and 1211 Sixth Avenue, have sold for around $900 or $1,000 per square foot.

Spokespersons for both HNA and Murray Hill declined to comment on a prospective sale, but sources said HNA is looking to optimize its portfolio by focusing on major trophy assets such as 245 Park and reduce potential overexposure in the New York market. It wasn’t clear if Murray Hill would also sell its stake in the event of a sale.

The property is fully leased to tenants including Scripps Networks Interactive.

If it closes, HNA’s deal for 245 Park, first reported by The Real Deal, would be one of the priciest-ever purchases of a Manhattan skyscraper. It’s buying the 1.8 million-square-foot property from Brookfield Property Partners and the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System.

HNA, which began in 1989 as a private airline in Hainan, has been on an acquisition spree across the globe. The company and its associates, which control assets of north of $100 billion, did about $34 billion in deals between October 2015 and October 2016, including the $6.5 billion acquisition of a 25 percent stake in hotel chain Hilton Worldwide Holdings.