NYU Buys Kips Bay Residential Tower for $210M

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New York University acquired a 23-story luxury residential building adjacent to NYU Langone Health’s Kimmel Pavilion inpatient care facility.

The university paid $210 million on Aug. 30 to purchase The Lanthian apartments at 377 East 33rd Street from Verbena Road Holdings, a California-based company run by Dallas-based investor Dennis Wong, according to property records.

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The property will be used by the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, which has leased several apartments in the property since the 1990s for faculty and staff housing — along with commercial space for its admissions and physician offices, a spokesperson for the university said,

“NYU Langone has acquired and intends to operate the property as a strategic mixed-use asset, given its close proximity to the Manhattan main campus,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We intend to utilize the residential units to house faculty, staff, and trainees. The purchase will also enable NYU Langone to dispose of third-party leased units in and around the neighborhood.”

Verbena and Wong could not be reached for comment.

Sources familiar with the transaction said that Eastdil Secured‘s Gary Phillips, Will Silverman and Daniel Parker negotiated the sale. The debt on the asset was assumed by NYU.

Wong purchased the 209-unit building in 2015 from real estate investment trust AvalonBay Communities for about $173 million and secured a $100 million loan from the recently defunct Signature Bank for the purchase, Commercial Observer reported at the time.

In 2019, Verbena used a $103 million loan to upgrade residences and common areas in the building, the balance of which was assumed by NYU in the purchase, according to property records.

The building at the corner of East 33rd Street and First Avenue has changed hands several times since it was built in 1998, including Archstone picking it up for $131.5 million in December 2011, but ownership was transferred to AvalonBay and Equity Residential in 2012 when the two bought Archstone for $6.5 billion in 2012 from the estate of Lehman Brothers.

Update: This story has been updated with a comment from NYU.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.