Bobby Zar buys Midtown office building for 15% less than 2015 price

ZG Capital pays $103M for 20-story property at 43 East 53rd Street

43 East 53rd Street with ZG Capital Partners’ James Tamborlane and Bobby Zar (Google Maps, LinkedIn)
43 East 53rd Street with ZG Capital Partners’ James Tamborlane and Bobby Zar (Google Maps, LinkedIn)

Bobby Zar and James Tamborlane’s ZG Capital Partners has closed on another Midtown East office building — at a substantial discount to its previous sale price.

An entity connected to the real estate investment firm bought the 20-floor, 113,000-square-foot tower at 43 East 53rd Street in Midtown East for $102.5 million from an entity tied to Florida-based MEK Management Services Inc., according to city property records filed Thursday. The contract for the acquisition was reported in April.

Tamborlane signed for ZG Capital Partners. MEK Management’s Richard Ostrovsky signed for the seller.

Ackman-Ziff’s Ross Mezzo is arranging the sale. Newmark’s Jordan Roeschlaub and Dustin Stolly arranged a $120 million loan from ACRES Capital and $55 million of limited-partner equity from Rialto Capital for the acquisition and renovation.

Built in 1990, the office building was bought by MEK Management for $120.3 million in 2015, according to city property records. The new owners are planning to spend upwards of $80 million to upgrade the 20-story, 134,000-square-foot property, which was formerly known as the Santander building.

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The Manhattan office market has been dragged down by vacancies and subleasing as employees cling to their work-from-home routines. Older, unrenovated buildings have been especially punished.

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ZG Capital’s purchase of 43 East 53rd Street is the latest of a number of deals that the investment firm has completed for buildings across New York in recent years.

The investment firm also purchased the largely vacant office building at 836 Broadway in Union Square last October for $40 million. The six-story, 81,000 square-foot building previously housed New York University.

And ZG bought the 20,000-square-foot, mixed-use building at 654 Broadway in NoHo for $10 million last year and the waterfront Bruckner Building at 2417 Third Avenue in the South Bronx for $65 million in 2019.