NYU buys Noho office building for $98M

Users are taking advantage of down market to buy up real estate

NYU president Andrew Hamilton and 400 Lafayette Street
NYU president Andrew Hamilton and 400 Lafayette Street (Getty; ABS Partners)

New York University purchased a Noho office building for just under $100 million in the school’s latest expansion around its Greenwich Village campus.

NYU paid $97.5 million for the 120,000-square-foot building at 400 Lafayette Street, property records filed Thursday show.

A spokesperson for the university said that for now, the building will be used as swing space for faculty and administrative offices. But long term, the space will be used “to shrink our footprint of leased spaces, reducing costs and providing long-term stability,” the spokesperson said.

The seller is Alvin Flaster’s Sand Associates, which has owned the property since at least 1980.

Three of the building’s four office floors were available for lease at the time of the sale, according to a listing. Previous tenants at 400 Lafayette have included tech startups like DraftKings, SeatGeek and marketing platforms Yotpo and PebblePost.

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NYU’s purchase is one of the few investment sales to close in this slow market, and it’s notable that the property was picked up by an owner-operator.

Nonprofits and companies often take advantage of down markets to buy real estate when they don’t have to compete with professional buyers who view properties as investments.

Bary Diller’s media conglomerate IAC recently paid $80 million for the land beneath its West Chelsea corporate headquarters when it came up for sale. Earlier this year, Hyundai paid Vanbarton Group $275 million for a Tribeca office building, which the automaker plans to use for offices and a showroom.

NYU has eyed expansion over the years and picked up numerous properties around its campuses. The school paid $134 million in 2010 for the 733-bed Founders Hall dormitory at 120 East 12th Street. Last year, it paid $122 million to buy an office building at Downtown Brooklyn’s MetroTech Center.

An analysis by The Real Deal last October found that NYU boasts the largest real estate footprint of any college or university in the city, with over 14 million square feet across more than 100 buildings.

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