The 258,000-sf office building--at the corner of East 61stStreet--houses the flagship store of Barney's New York on floorsone through nine, however the store is owned separately.Risanamento did not return GlobeSt.com queries by deadline, butaccording to a prepared company release, "for the sale of theoffice building of about 24,000 square meters, located in New York,660 Madison Ave., a mandate to a leading international broker willbe served during the next days."

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According to a previous Risanamento statement, the building ismanaged by Fisher Brothers, who also did not return GlobeSt.comqueries by deadline. Tenants in the property, include Gleacher& Co., Blue Ridge Capital, Colony Capital, Corcoran Group,Dolce & Gabbana, Drake Partners, and Lexington Partners,according to MrOfficespace.com.

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According to a Q1 2008 report, the firm reported a loss of 39.2million euros. The report says that "results were stronglyinfluenced by the unfavorable situation of the financial marketswhich had an impact on the real estate sector above all, which wassignificantly affected by the reduction of liquid funds availablefor new investments on the part of the credit system for newinvestments. Risanamento SpA was particularly affected by thissituation as it is a company whose core business is real estatedevelopment and furthermore the slow down in the sales programstrongly penalized the results for the financial year."

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According to Hugh Finnegan, an attorney in the real estate groupat Sullivan & Worcester LLP, this asset is sure to attract manybidders. "The asset is in a great location, with a high-qualitytenant roster," he tells GlobeSt.com.

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Finnegan continues that "this will be an interesting test of themarket in terms of who bids and how much they bid. The issue willbe the debt markets because there will clearly need to be a fairamount of equity here, which will certainly limit the number ofinterested bidders." Even so, Finnegan says that given the buildingand the tenants, he expects bidding to be significant, and suspectsthat the winning bidder will be an off-shore fund or group.

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Cushman & Wakefield's midyear report made note of thesignificant foreign buyerinterest in the city, noting the lack of supply, coupled with theweak dollar, boosted foreign investor interest and activity in thefirst half of 2008. "Year-to-date, foreign investment has accountedfor more than 48% of investor dollar volume, a notable increasefrom the 12% to 15% level in recent years," the report says.

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Additionally, in the 2008 annual survey of the Association ofForeign Investors in Real Estate, the US was deemed the "moststable and secure" country for real estate investment and thecountry with the best opportunity for appreciation. AFIRE's survey,conducted in Q4 '07, also found that New York City had vaulted tothe top of the worldwide list of cities for foreign investment,followed by Washington, DC.

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As for the "great location" Finnegan refers to, according to aJones Lang LaSalle market report, office rents in this Midtown areahave had solid growth. Class A rents have risen 2.1%, increasing to$95.08 per sf at midyear 2008 from $93.15 per sf in the firstquarter of the year.

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The assets' worth has grown over the past five years. Only fiveyears ago, Beverly Hills, CA-based Brener International Group LLC,purchased the property for an estimated $160 million or $640per sf from a joint venture led by Brickman Associates, whichpurchased the condominium interest over Barney's, nearly four yearsbefore that, for a reported $108 million. The building is also tiedto San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC, who purchased a$50-million junior mezzanine loan fromDeutsche Bank that was collateralized by equity interests inRisanamento.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.