GM Building Stake Sold to International Buyers


A 40-percent stake in the General Motors Building has been acquired by the family of Chinese real estate developer Zhang Xin, through The Sungate Trust, and M. Safra and Co. Inc., the investment firm of the Brazilian Safra family, from the Goldman Sachs (GS) Real Estate Opportunities Fund and Meraas Capital. According to reports, the stake sold for $1.4 billion, valuing the property at $3.4 billion.

“This landmark sale signals a return to the billion-dollar plus level for an individual investment transaction and is recognition of the value for elite trophy assets by the most sophisticated global investors,” said Darcy Stacom, of CBRE (CBRE), who brokered the sale alongside colleague Bill Shanahan, in a prepared statement. “This sale underscores both the GM Building’s universal appeal as one of the world’s most important commercial assets and New York City’s un-diminished value, as the premier location for trophy investment properties.”

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unnamed GM Building Stake Sold to International BuyersThe transaction, which closed May 31, is the highest valuation for a property in the U.S. since the GM Building sold in 2008. Boston Properties (BXP) will continue to hold the remaining 60 percent stake in the property.

“Office space that epitomizes the premier business environment, combined with the most valuable retail location in the United States, places the GM Building in a global investment category all-its-own,” added Mr. Shanahan in the statement.

The 50-story, 2 million-square-foot building was built in 1968 and tenants include Estee Lauder Companies, Icahn Enterprises and Weil, Gotshal and Manges. The property is also home to Apple (AAPL) Store Fifth Avenue location.

The announcement of the sale closely follows the news that The Carlyle Group has agreed to sell the nearby building at 650 Madison Avenue to Crown Acquisitions and Highgate for $1.3 billion, the largest sale of an entire property since Google (GOOGL)’s 2010 acquisition of 111 Eighth Avenue.

CBRE Global Investors served as financial advisor to Meraas Capital. The Real Estate Opportunities Fund was represented by Goldman Sachs.