In unusual move, UBS selling Midtown tower in online auction

920K sf office building listed on Ten-X with starting bid of just $7.5M

UBS Looks To Sell 1 MSF Midtown Office Building
UBS Group's Sergio Ermotti with 135 West 50th Street (UBS Group, Google Maps)

A nearly 1 million-square-foot Midtown office building is up for sale, and anyone with a free Ten-X account can bid on it.

The Swiss bank UBS and its brokers at JLL have listed the 920,000-square-foot building at 135 West 50th Street for sale on the platform. UBS owns the property through a long-term leasehold, and Safehold owns the ground underneath the building. The starting bid is $7.5 million and it’s unclear what the reserve price is.

It’s an unusual place to try and sell such a large property. Online listing platforms like Ten-X have a reputation as places where sellers go to unload lower-quality middle market properties, not where major institutions go to sell big-time assets.

Representatives for UBS declined to comment and the Ten-X auction advisor on the listing did not respond to a request for comment. JLL’s Andrew Scandalios has the listing; he did not respond to a request for comment.

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The 1960s-era Class A building is 35 percent occupied and recently underwent a $76 million renovation, according to the listing. UBS sold the property a block west of Rockefeller Center to Safehold in 2019 for $285 million, then signed a $221 million lease that expires in 2123. A source said the ground lease probably negatively impacted the property value.

Ten-X was founded in 2007 as, a residential real estate deal platform, and has been backed by investors such as Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital, Stone Point and CapitalG. In 2016, it launched a separate platform known as Ten-X Commercial, which provided a marketplace for commercial properties.

In 2020, commercial real estate data giant CoStar Group purchased the commercial real estate portion of the platform for $190 million from private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners.

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