Clocktower Building Strikes Deal
Jotham Sederstrom Oct. 14, 2011, 5:50 p.m.
Africa Israel USA, the controversial owner and operator of commercial properties across the United States, has entered into a contract to sell 5 Madison Avenue to an undisclosed investor for $165 million.
The 267,000-square-foot structure, also known as the Clocktower Building, has been vacant since 2005. A tentative deal to sell the property to Tommy Hilfiger earlier this year officially fell through last month after he failed to secure adequate financing, according to published reports.
The undisclosed buyer has made a $5 million deposit, $2 million of which is non-refundable, according to a statement by AFI USA’s general counsel Laurie Golub in a press release issued today. The price during discussions with Hilfiger was reported to be $170 million.
“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with a very credit-worthy buyer to secure the future of this remarkable building and support the burgeoning vitality of the Madison Square Park neighborhood,” Tamir Kazaz, chief executive of AFI USA, said in a statement.
AFI USA purchased the Clocktower Building in 2007 with its partners RFR Holdings and hotelier Ian Schrager for $200 million from SL Green. AFI USA has $1.5 billion in debt from U.S. real estate acquisitions made at the height of the market, according to Bloomberg.
Doug Heitner and Ashley Lostritto of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman represented AFI USA.