New York City’s Top 10 Investment Sales of 2023

reprints


It’d be safe to call 2023 the year of the owner-occupier.

Three of New York City’s top 10 investment sales this year came from companies that plan to use the space themselves. That includes Wells Fargo (WFC)’s $550 million purchase of Neiman Marcus’ former retail space at 20 Hudson Yards, the largest owner-occupier sale of the year and the third-biggest deal overall.

SEE ALSO: Sales Deals of the Week: Amazon Acquires Data Center Space in Virginia

Hyundai Motors and New York University also cracked the top 10 with their purchases this year, and other owner-occupier deals came close.

The trend is probably the brightest spot for the industry as far as New York City investment sales in 2023.

The city’s drought of $1 billion deals that cleared up in 2022 has returned in 2023. The largest deal of the year — Mori Trust’s $998 million purchase of a minority stake in 245 Park Avenue from SL Green Realty — came in just shy of the $1 billion mark.

In the third quarter of 2023, Manhattan saw a total of $4.93 billion in sales volume, putting the borough on pace to hit $15.3 billion for the year, according to JLL. That would be a 25 percent decrease from the $20.3 billion closed in 2022.

For some good news, the number of sales for at least $10 million is on pace this year to increase 6 percent annually, to 239, according to JLL.

If that roller coaster of emotions hasn’t forced you to stop reading and head to your nearest watering hole, here are the top 10 New York City investment sales of 2023, as reported by CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield. The names of the brokers who worked on them are listed where available.

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

245 Park Avenue
$998 million

This building is no stranger to this list.

Last year, 245 Park Avenue was the second-largest sale when SL Green Realty picked it up for $1.8 billion from HNA Group following a protracted legal battle. This year, it clinched the top spot when SL Green sold a 49.9 percent stake in the 46-story office tower to Japanese firm Mori Trust for $998 million.

The deal appears to be Mori Trust’s first New York City purchase, and the company will join SL Green in its plan to reposition the 1.8 million-square-foot building.

SL Green tapped architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox for the project, which is due to include updating the lobbies, the retail spaces and the plaza on Park Avenue. It’s also supposed to add a new rooftop garden and food offerings from one of real estate’s favorite chefs, Daniel Boulud.

Park Lane Hotel
$623 million

The only hotel sale on this list happens to be a pretty big one.

In August, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, dropped $622 million to purchase the Park Lane Hotel from Steve Witkoff’s eponymous firm.

While that price tag was enough to make it the second-largest investment sale this year, it was slightly less than the $654 million Witkoff bought it for in 2013, when he planned to convert most of it into condominiums, TheReal Deal reported.

Witkoff struggled to get the project off the ground. In 2017, he listed the hotel at 36 Central Park South, hoping to get a $1 billion offer.

It’s unclear who brokered the sale of the 600-room hotel to the Qatar Investment Authority.

20 Hudson Yards
$550 million

Neiman Marcus opened its massive Hudson Yards outpost to much hullabaloo in 2019, but the party was short-lived as the retailer closed the space a little more than a year later when it filed for bankruptcy.

That left Related Companies and Oxford Properties with a massive hole in their Hudson Yards retail complex. However, Related quickly pitched the idea of converting the store to offices, reportedly talking with Facebook to lease the space.

Three years later, Related’s plans came to fruition when Wells Fargo shelled out $550 million this fall for the 400,000 square feet at 20 Hudson Yards to house at least 2,300 employees starting in late 2026.

Newmark’s Adam Spies and Doug Harmon brokered the sale.

One Liberty Plaza
$490 million

It looks like Brookfield Properties really couldn’t let One Liberty Plaza go.

Brookfield bought a 49 percent stake in the office tower from Blackstone in March for $490 million, six years after it sold that same stake of the Financial District property to Blackstone.

The deal valued the office building at $1 billion, a huge drop from the $1.5 billion valuation it had in 2018 when Brookfield sold the stake to Blackstone, TRD reported.

Adam Spies and Doug Harmon of Newmark brokered the sale.

555 Greenwich Street
$415 million

The fifth deal on this list was a bit of a long time coming.

Hudson Square Properties — a joint venture between Trinity Church Wall Street, Norges Bank Investment Management and Hines — first agreed to purchase 555 Greenwich Street to redevelop it into a 16-story office property in 2019.

That agreement stipulated the sale would close once the project neared completion and, in May, the joint venture’s $415 million acquisition from Trinity’s The Rector, Church-Wardens, and Vestrymen of Trinity Church became official.

The development will connect with the adjacent 345 Hudson Street to offer 715,000 square feet of offices.

1261 Second Avenue
$403 million

Multifamily makes its debut on the list with the $403 million sale of 1261 Second Avenue, known as the Solow Tower Apartments.

Black Spruce Management and Orbach Affordable Housing Solutions, under their joint-venture GO Partners, purchased the 45-story, 322-unit building from Townhouse Company and Soloviev Group in May, Crain’s New York Business reported.

Solow Tower Apartments were built in 1979 and were owned by the family company until Stefan Soloviev — son of the late Sheldon Solow — took control of the firm and began selling off some of its assets.

JLL's Rob Hinckley, Jeffrey Julien, Steven Rutman, Scott Panzer and Andrew Scandalios brokered the sale.

125 Greenwich Street
$285 million

The stalled supertall condominium at 125 Greenwich Street got a new lease on life in February when Fortress Investment Group dropped $285 million for controlling interest in the tower from Bizzi & Partners Development.

Bizzi remains on the project, and the pair landed $313 million in new financing in February to restart construction on the 71-story Financial District property.

It’s unclear who brokered the sale, but Walker & Dunlop’s Aaron Appel and Keith Kurland arranged the debt financing.

15 Laight Street
$274 million

Hyundai Motor Company can now add owning New York City real estate to its balance sheet.

The South Korean auto manufacturer paid $274 million in cash in February to buy the recently redeveloped office building at 15 Laight Street from the Vanbarton Group, Bloomberg reported.

Hyundai plans to use the eight-story Tribeca tower for its offices and a showroom, according to Bloomberg.

Newmark brokered the deal.

850 Third Avenue
$266 million

This entry might not be the most pleasant on the list.

In March, the Chetrit Group offloaded 850 Third Avenue to its lender HPS Investment Partners for $266 million.

The sale price was a far cry from the $422 million Chetrit bought the office building for in 2019, and came after Chetrit struggled to keep the 617,000-square-foot property out of foreclosure. Chetrit had lost the building’s top tenant — overall, it was only 57 percent occupied — and was nearing a UCC foreclosure in 2021 when HPS stepped in with financing.

377 East 33rd Street
$210 million

New York University became another owner-occupier to make this list when it shelled out $210 million in August for the luxury residential building at 377 East 33rd Street.

Verbana Road Holdings owned the 23-story tower, known as The Lanthian. NYU has leased it since the 1990s for faculty and staff housing for its Grossman School of Medicine but now has full control of it.

Eastdil Secured’s Gary Phillips, Will Silverman and Daniel Parker brokered the sale.