New York City’s investment sales market overall may have continued to struggle in 2017—with both total number of transactions and dollar volume sliding for the second consecutive year—but that doesn’t mean major, market-shifting deals aren’t still getting done.
In fact, the past 12 months has seen two of the largest property sales in the city’s history take place, each passing the stratospheric $2 billion mark. Last May, Chinese conglomerate HNA Group closed its $2.2 billion acquisition of 245 Park Avenue in Midtown (though the cash-strapped firm is now seeking to offload the office building, less than a year later). And this March, tech giant Google sealed its $2.4 billion purchase of the Chelsea Market building at 75 Ninth Avenue in Chelsea.
Those two megadeals top Commercial Observer’s list of the 10 largest investment sales transactions of the past year, compiled with data provided to CO by CBRE. The list includes deals that closed in the 12 months through the end of the first quarter of this year—everything from April 2017, when our previous Power 100 issue was released, through March 2018.
That means that a few major transactions that have yet to close didn’t quite make the cut, including Silverstein Properties’ $1 billion-plus acquisition of television network ABC’s Upper West Side headquarters, first reported by CO earlier this month; Rockpoint Group and Brooksville Company’s $905 million purchase of Starrett City in East New York, Brooklyn; and WeWork and Rhone Capital’s deal to buy Lord & Taylor’s flagship Midtown store for $850 million.
But as the following list attests, even excluding those goliaths, New York City did just fine when it came to attracting serious investment dollars in commercial real estate.
The Belnord, 2360 Broadway
Price: $660 million (partial stake)
Buyer: Westbrook Partners
Seller: HFZ Capital Group
Having sold off a chunk of the St. John’s Terminal site, Westbrook Partners turned its attentions to the Upper West Side, where Ziel Feldman’s HFZ Capital Group has been pursuing a condominium conversion of the historic Belnord rental building.
Westbrook’s $660 million investment in the project closed in March, with the firm now an equity partner in the Robert A.M. Stern-helmed overhaul of the 14-story, 215-unit property. HFZ plans to gradually convert the building’s rental apartments into condos as they vacate, with the firm targeting a $1.35 billion sellout at the Belnord