New York based real estate development and investment company Ruben Companies has become the 100 percent owner of a Midtown site through a $280 million off-market transaction, Commercial Observer has learned.
The New York-based development firm built the 42-story 650,000-square-foot office tower on a plot of land at 1700 Broadway between West 53rd and West 54th Streets in 1968 through a 99-year ground lease with The Shubert Foundation. Sources involved in the deal said that on Tuesday, Ruben acquired the fee position, or the underlying land, on the property from The Shubert Foundation.
“It’s always desirable because a leasehold ownership is a wasting asset in that at the end of the ground lease, the building reverts to the guy that owns the ground,” Brian Corcoran, an executive vice president at Cushman & Wakefield and an adviser on the transaction, told CO. Total ownership would have reverted back to The Shubert Foundation upon expiration of the ground lease in 2067.
A representative for Ruben said that the firm did a similar deal in 2013, when investors affiliated with the firm bought the land under the 26-story commercial 600 Madison Avenue between East 57th and East 58th Streets for $210 million following an investment in a ground lease.
“These prime Manhattan acquisitions demonstrate our commitment to long-term ownership, management and investment in our properties, as well as our confidence in Midtown Manhattan,” Ruben Chief Executive Officer Richard Ruben told CO via a company spokesman.
A representative for The Shubert Foundation declined to comment.