Barnett lands $900M for Disney UWS campus

Company leasing space before move to Hudson Square HQ

Extell’s Gary Barnett with 77 West 66th Street (Extell, iStock, Pocketsights, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)
Extell’s Gary Barnett with 77 West 66th Street (Extell, iStock, Pocketsights, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development has locked down another slice of the Upper West Side, securing financing for the purchase of part of the former Walt Disney Company-owned ABC campus.

Extell recently purchased the West 67th Street property from Silverstein Properties and Seven VAlleys for about $930 million, the Commercial Observer reported. The developer scored at least $900 million in acquisition financing from Guggenheim Partners and Aquarian Holdings.

Aquarian, Beaumont Partners and JVP Management are all equity investors in the headquarters buy, according to the Observer. The precise amount of financing each provided is unclear.

Gary Phillips and Will Silverman of Eastdil Secured brokered the sale to Barnett, according to the Observer, while Aquarian aided in the arrangement of financing for both itself and Guggenheim.

Barnett agreed to buy the property last month, even putting down a $50 million deposit on the purchase. The properties included in the deal are 149 and 147 Columbus Avenue, 7, 47 and 77 West 66th Street and 30 West 67th Street.

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The purchase is only part of the former campus. In 2019, Nuveen and Taconic Investment Partners teamed up to buy a portion of the complex for $230 million. The owners planned to convert at least one of the three buildings they purchased into a space for life-science tenants.

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Silverstein is buying ABC’s Upper West Side campus for $1B: report
304 Hudson Street and Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger (Credit: Google Maps)
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Revealed: Disney’s plans for a 19-story complex in Hudson Square

Larry Silverstein’s firm paid $1.2 billion to buy the broadcast headquarters in 2018. Related Companies also reportedly bid on the campus, despite rumors the real estate holdings of Disney could be disrupted by its $52 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

That forecast has come to pass, as Disney is planning a 19-story, nearly 1.3 million-square-foot building at 4 Hudson Square, which will include retail space on the ground floor and offices beginning on the third floor. Disney acquired the development site from Trinity Church for $650 million in 2018 and is expected to house Disney’s New York operations.

Disney will continue to lease the Upper West Side space as construction continues on its new headquarters. Barnett’s plans for the longtime campus space are currently unclear.

[CO] — Holden Walter-Warner