Empire Capital Holdings Buying 1330 Avenue of the Americas for $325M

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Empire Capital Holdings is in contract to purchase 1330 Avenue of the Americas from a joint venture of Blackstone Group and Scott Rechler’s RXR, for about $325 million, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

The deal — expected to close by the end of the year — is shy of the $350 million RXR and Blackstone originally hoped to get for the 40-story building between West 53rd and West 54th streets, the source said.

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Empire plans to put new debt on the property to fund the purchase, though the amount and brokers of the loan were not immediately clear, according to the source. The building currently holds about $285 million in debt from DekaBank that RXR grabbed in 2018 to pay off a previous $200 million loan from New York Community Bank, CO previously reported. 

The deal comes a month after Empire went into contract to buy the 220,000-square-foot 345 Seventh Avenue from Clemons Management Corporation for $107 million, as CO previously reported.

Blackstone became the majority owner of 1330 Avenue of the Americas, previously known as the Financial Times Building, after it bought an approximately 50 percent stake in a six-building RXR office portfolio in 2015, the source said.

The building’s value has gone down since 2006, when Harry Macklowe spent $498 million to purchase it before being forced to auction it off to Canadian lender Otera Capital in 2009 following the financial crisis. RXR and a group of investors bought the tower for about $400 million in 2010.

The Emery Roth & Sons-designed property had the United Kingdom-based Financial Timesinitials spread across the top floor until 2020, when top floor tenant Silvercrest Asset Management decided to replace the logo with its own. The building is also home to the furniture company Knoll and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Eastdil Secured’s Will Silverman, Gary Phillips and Steven Binswanger brokered the deal for the seller. Eastdil declined to comment. Blackstone, Empire and RXR did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.