NYU buys MetroTech Center office building for $122M

JPMorgan sells 10-story Downtown Brooklyn property to university after vacating it in 2020

NYU president Andrew Hamilton and 3 Metrotech Center (NYU, JLL)
NYU president Andrew Hamilton and 3 Metrotech Center (NYU, JLL)

The primary market for unremarkable New York City office properties, evidently, is made up of institutions that do not specialize in real estate.

Following big-ticket office deals by Memorial Sloan Kettering this month, New York University has purchased 3 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn from JPMorgan for $122 million, property records show.

The 10-story, Class-A office building, which JPMorgan vacated in December 2020, sits next door to NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering at 5 MetroTech Center.

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Forest City Ratner Companies developed MetroTech Center in 1992 in a bid to attract corporate tenants to Downtown Brooklyn amid fears that some employers would retreat to the suburbs.

Brookfield acquired most of the other buildings in the complex in 2018 through its $6.8 billion purchase of Forest City Realty Trust, but has also recently sold some of its MetroTech holdings. In January, Boyd Watterson Asset Management struck a deal to acquire 9 and 11 MetroTech Center for $310 million.

The following month, Brookfield announced that three of the buildings at MetroTech Center will be rebranded as Brooklyn Commons. The buildings will also get a $50 million makeover, including new lobbies, outdoor terraces and updated ground-floor retail.

In addition to its main campus in Greenwich Village, NYU owns valuable real estate across the city. A 2018 analysis by The Real Deal found that the university owned 110 properties totaling 12.78 million square feet.