Related fund closes on $153M purchase of Unizo’s Hell’s Kitchen building

Price is a $12M discount to what the Japanese investor paid 3 years ago

Related's Justin Metz and 321 West 44th Street (Credit: Getty Images and CoStar)
Related's Justin Metz and 321 West 44th Street (Credit: Getty Images and CoStar)

Related Companies fund-management arm closed on the purchase of Unizo Holding’s office building in Hell’s Kitchen for $153 million – a discount of $12 million to what the Japanese investor paid for the property three years ago.

Related paid $152.5 million to buy the 10-story office building at 321 West 44th Street, property records filed with the city Thursday show.

The purchase price works out to about $688 per square foot for the roughly 220,000-square-foot building west of Times Square between Eighth and Ninth avenues.

“The area is seeing great momentum and we will be further investing in the building to capitalize on what is sure to be an ideal location for smaller tenants,” a spokesperson for Related told The Real Deal.

A representative for Unizo could not be reached.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce provided Related with a $102.7 million acquisition loan, property records show.

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Unizo, formerly known as Jowa Holdings, hit the Manhattan scene in 2013 and quickly snapped up a handful of properties, paying more than $622 million to buy three office buildings.

But the company this year started selling off those investments, some at a loss.

Earlier this month, Unizo closed on the sale of the 27-story Midtown office building at 370 Lexington Avenue to Broad Street Development for about $190 million, or roughly $57 million less than it paid when it bought the building in 2015 for $247 million.

Crain’s first reported in October that Related was vying with East End Capital to buy 315 West 44th Street. East End, which sold the building to Unizo in 2013, had a right of first refusal that allowed it to match Related’s offer. Cushman & Wakefield’s Doug Harmon and Adam Spies negotiated both of those sales for Unizo.

The seller had better luck with the building at 440 Ninth Avenue – the first property it bought in the city – when it paid $211.5 million in 2013. The investor earlier this month sold the property to TH Real Estate and Taconic Investment Partners for $269 million.

CBRE’s Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan negotiated the sale for Unizo.

Elsewhere, Related Fund Management just picked up a 92,000-square-foot office building in Los Angeles for $72 million.

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