First-Time Buyer in U.S. Snaps Up Retail Condo at 2 Times Square

South Korea-based Bando Engineering and Construction paid roughly $100M for the property 

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We may just be returning from a long weekend, but some were certainly working hard in the days running up to all those fireworks and hot dogs. 

The landmark retail condominium at 2 Times Square just sold to a first-time buyer in the U.S., Commercial Observer has learned. 

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South Korea-based Bando Engineering and Construction purchased the 26,000-square-foot property from Sherwood Equities for roughly $100 million, sources told CO, with the deal closing last week. 

Newmark’s Adam Spies, Adam Doneger, Marcella Fasulo, Avery Silverstein and Meaghan Philbin negotiated the sale. 

2 Times Square sits at the north end of Times Square, comprising a through block between West 47th and West 48th Streets. With four sides of frontage in one of the most famous squares in the world, it’s a property that’s easily recognizable — even for those who haven’t yet visited its glittering lights. 

Olive Garden is the retail property’s anchor tenant. Other tenants include Lids, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream and Sardinha Portuguesa — representing the Portuguese retailer’s first location in the U.S.  Olive Garden’s 13,673-square-foot space is the restaurant’s biggest location in the world, and its lease has plenty of unlimited breadsticks left on it, so to speak, as it doesn’t expire until October 2034. Its location is primo viewing territory for Times Square’s New Year’s Eve ball drop, but the experience will cost you, well, a lot of bread, at $450. 

Sherwood Equities developed the property and owned it for almost four decades before marketing the retail condo via Newmark in May, The Real Deal reported, seeking roughly $90 million at the time. 

The developer also shed 2 Times Square’s hotel component, Renaissance at Times Square, less than a year ago to Newbond Holdings and Apollo Global Management. The new owners paid $165 million for the 200,000-square-foot, 317-key hotel, CO reported at the time, in a sale also negotiated by the Newmark team. 

The sale marks Bando’s first U.S. existing property purchase, but the Seoul-based construction firm, established in 1970, already has two housing developments under its belt: The Bora 3170 and The Bora 3020, both in Los Angeles. At the time of its second development, Kwon Hong-Sa, Bando’s chairman and CEO, told Korea Economic Daily that the company had plans to expand into major cities in the U.S., including New York City. 

It wasn’t immediately clear what Bando’s plans are for the retail condo, but for now it has a busy property ticking along in one of New York City’s busiest spots as its U.S. acquisition debut. Times Square’s subway station sees more than 45 million riders pass through its doors each year, and the tourist hub is one of the most heavily trafficked retail spots in the world. 

Sherwood Equities and Newmark didn’t immediately return a request for comment. Bando couldn’t be reached for comment.

Cathy Cunningham can be reached at ccunningham@commercialobserver.com