Silverstein Selling Its Stake in Hudson Research Center

A recapitalization of the property is being marketed, but a fee simple sale would also be considered

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Silverstein Properties is selling its ownership stake in Hudson Research Center, the life sciences property it owns with Taconic Partners on Manhattan’s Far West Side, Commercial Observer has learned. 

Eastdil Secured’s Gary Phillips and Will Silverman are marketing the transaction, per an offering memorandum (OM) viewed by CO on Wednesday. The investment opportunity offers either a recapitalization of the project, partnering with Taconic’s life sciences subsidiary Elevate Research Properties, or an outright acquisition of the 318,388-square-foot property at 619 West 54th Street

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Pricing is anticipated to be as high as the $300 million range for Silverstein’s stake, a source with knowledge of the deal said. 

The 10-story project between 11th Avenue and the West Side Highway was previously known as The Movie Lab Building, as it was built in 1930 as a film-editing house for Warner Bros. Pictures. Taconic bought the building for about $110 million in 2012 with plans to turn it into a research space and upgrade its facade and interior, as CO previously reported.

Silverstein bought a majority stake in the development in 2017 — valuing the property at more than $180 million — with Taconic keeping a 10 percent stake, the New York Post reported. The transaction represented Silverstein’s first foray into the life sciences market.

In 2020, Silverstein and Taconic landed a $205 million refinancing of the property from the former Square Mile Capital, now known as Affinius Capital, as CO previously reported. The five-year, floating-rate debt acted as a bridge loan for the building’s conversion to life sciences use.

Roughly $57 million of redevelopment capital has been invested by ownership to date, according to the OM, with $22.2 million spent on life sciences infrastructure, $26.6 million on laboratory tenant fit-outs, and $7.9 million deployed on building upgrades.

“Taconic has done a really incredible job with this building,” one source said. 

The research center has secured a roster of top tenants, including the New York Stem Cell Foundation, cancer therapy firm HiberCell and the Bill Gates-backed c16 Biosciences. Last year, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute signed on for 23,000 square feet of lab space to open the Center for Engineering and Precision Medicine academic research hub with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The center opened in March.

Marketing materials highlight the scarcity of purpose-built supply for life sciences use in New York City, as well as the property’s “recession-proof rent roll.” 

Silverstein and Eastdil declined to comment. Taconic did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Cathy Cunningham can be reached at ccunningham@commercialobserver.com. Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.