As expected (we noted last week this would likely happen and soon), Lehman Brothers has agreed to unload its majority stake in the old Toy Building at 200 Fifth Avenue in a deal that values it at about $700 million. It is one of the biggest building sales of 2011 so far, and one of the most significant moves by the croaked investment bank’s holding company in its campaign to liquidate its real estate. The buyer is a wing of JPMorgan.
Lehman and partner L&L Holding bought the building, the corporate home of Tiffany and of the Eataly restaurant and brewpub, from Joseph Chetrit for $480 million in mid-2007, at the real estate market’s peak. But, as Eliot Brown of The Wall Street Journal notes, don’t let the higher valuation on this latest deal fool you:
It’s not clear, however, whether Lehman made or lost money on the investment because 200 Fifth’s owners spent an enormous amount to upgrade the property to attract its high- profile tenants.
More here. L&L will remain as an owner and the building’s manager.