Silverstein buys FiDi apartment building for $248M

Nathan Berman’s Metro Loft selling 116 John Street a decade after converting the former office tower

116 John Street, Silverstein Properties' Larry Silverstein and Metro Loft's Nathan Berman (Google Maps, Getty)
116 John Street, Silverstein Properties' Larry Silverstein and Metro Loft's Nathan Berman (Google Maps, Getty)

Larry Silverstein is getting in on the flurry of last-minute deals to close out the year.

Silverstein Properties bought the 400-unit apartment building at 116 John Street in the Financial District from Nathan Berman’s Metro Loft Management for $248 million, sources familiar with the sale told The Real Deal. The deal closed today.

It’s the latest in a series of big-ticket transactions to materialize before the end of the year, as investors show increasing demand for multifamily and office properties.

Berman confirmed the sale in an email Wednesday, noting that the multifamily sector is showing particular resilience and potential.

“This sale is a recycling of capital play for us, especially that going forward we are anticipating a very deep ‘supply’ pipeline of underperforming B, B- office product — well suited for our conversion platform,” he wrote.

Built in the 1930s, 116 John Street was originally an office tower. In 2011, Berman entered into a joint venture with owner Hacienda Intercontinental Realty to convert the 35-story building — one of the last remaining office towers on John Street — into apartments.

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A large portion of the space is leased to Sonder, which rents the units out as apartment-style hotel rooms. Berman hired a team at Eastdil Secured led by Gary Phillips and Will Silverman to bring the building to market in late 2019.

Silverstein had taken a look at the property, but the sales process was put on hold when the pandemic struck the city. Both sides came back to the table this fall to get the deal restarted.

“I am thrilled to add this outstanding property to our portfolio,” said Larry Silverstein in a statement. “Downtown is our home, and I am proud to have been part of this neighborhood’s incredible transformation and renewal over the past 20 years.”

Khashy Eyn from Platinum Properties and Lenny Sporn helped broker the off-market deal.

There’s been a rush of nine-figure deal activity as the end of the year draws closer.

Blackstone is nearing a deal to purchase the Gehry building at 8 Spruce Street from Brookfield Asset Management and Nuveen for $930 million. And Josh Gotlib’s Black Spruce Management went into contract earlier this month to buy the American Copper Buildings on Manhattan’s East Side from Michael Stern’s JDS Development and Baupost Group for $850 million.

Elsewhere in FiDi, Silverstein is teaming up with Brookfield to develop one of the last parcels at the World Trade Center site into a 1.6 million-square-foot, mixed-use tower with 1,325 residential units.

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