ESRT Picks Up NoHo Residential Building for $115M Cash

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Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) bought a NoHo apartment building for $114.9 million as it continues its push away from offices and into buying multifamily properties.

The firm picked up 298 Mulberry Street from Broad Street Development and Crow Holdings Capital in an all-cash, 1031 exchange deal, ESRT announced Wednesday.

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The 96-unit market-rate building, on the corner of East Houston and Mulberry streets, was built in 1986 and has retail space on the ground floor currently leased by CVS. Broad Street and Crow Holdings bought the property, along with 304 Mulberry Street, in 2014 from GID Investment Advisers for $91.5 million, according to property records.

A spokesperson for Crow Holdings declined to comment. A representative from Broad Street did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ESRT funded the purchase through a 1031 exchange — which allows the trust to defer paying taxes — related to the sale of two office buildings outside of the city: 10 Bank Street in White Plains, N.Y., and 500 Mamaroneck Avenue in Harrison, N.Y.

“298 Mulberry Street expands our multifamily portfolio with a property that is 100 percent free-market, in a great submarket, with opportunity for future rent growth,” ESRT CEO Anthony Malkin said in a statement. “The acquisition is consistent with our previously stated plan to recycle our balance sheet and add well-located NYC multifamily assets.”

Last year, ESRT said during a conference call that it would begin a push to buy multifamily properties around the city as it dealt with high vacancy rates in its office portfolio, Crain’s New York Business reported.

The NoHo property was the third apartment building ESRT bought this year after it closed on the $307 million purchase of 345 East 94th Street and 561 10th Avenue in January, according to Crain’s.

JLL’s Andrew Scandalios, Rob Hinckley, Jeffrey Julien, Steven Rutman and Jonathan Faxon represented the sellers in the 298 Mulberry sale.

“Regardless of macroeconoimc headwinds, blue-chip assets like 298 Mulberry will always be en vogue,” Hinckley said in a statement. “This was a once-in-a-decade opportunity to buy irreplaceable real estate with more upside to come.”

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.