Wafra Under Contract to Buy 720 West End Avenue for $165M: Sources


Wafra Capital Partners— via the entity WCP investments LP is under contract to buy the 16-story property at 720 West End Avenue in Manhattan for around $165 million, sources familiar with the deal told Commercial Observer. 

The transaction is expected to close in the next few weeks. 

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Brack Capital Real Estate put the asset up for sale back in June, marketing it through a Cushman & Wakefield team led by Adam Spies, Adam Doneger, Michael Collins and Maurice Suede, per an offering memorandum shared with CO at the time. 

Wafra’s plans for the building — which is being delivered vacant and gutted — couldn’t immediately be gleaned. Market chatter at the time of the offering indicated interested bidders were floating a few potential uses for the property, including a condominium conversion or a senior housing play. 

An investor who spoke with CO in June described the opportunity as “a very rare opportunity to buy a sizable building that’s good to go … it’s a blank canvas right now.”

Senior housing would mark a return to 720 West End Avenue’s roots as — prior to it being acquired by Brack Capital in 2015 — it was home to a 352-unit Salvation Army-run senior housing center. 

Brack Capital, on the other hand, had plans to redevelop the building into condos. In 2018, the firm filed plans for a Morris Adjmi-designed conversion and expansion of the building, according to New York YIMBY. Both the Department of Buildings and the Landmarks Preservation Commission later approved those plans, allowing for the addition of another 14,933 square feet above grade and 3,782 square feet below grade, if Wafra so chooses. 

The property sits in a prime location on the corner of West End Avenue and West 95th Street, with more than 125 feet of corner frontage on each side. It’s located one block from the 96th Street subway hub, and a short walk from Riverside Park and the Broadway retail and entertainment corridor. 

Wafra, which signed a lease for 13,900 square feet at L&L Holding Company’s 425 Park Avenue in July, frequently partners with Nightingale Properties in investments — for example, the acquisition and repositioning of 111 Wall Street.  It wasn’t clear whether a partner is also involved in the 720 West End Avenue deal. 

Officials at Wafra and C&W declined to comment. 

Cathy Cunningham can be reached at ccunningham@commercialobserver.com.