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NEW YORK CITY—The Chinese conglomerate NHA Group has sold 850 Third Ave. to Jacob, Michael and Simon Chetrit. The deal was first reported in Bisnow. A source with knowledge of the transaction tells GlobeSt.com the price range was $410 to $420 million.

HNA had owned a 90% interest in the skycraper with MHP Real Estate Services and ATCO Properties & Management owning the remaining minority interest. Esther Zar, senior managing director at MHP, brokered the deal for the buyer who bought a 100%, full ownership.

David Sturner, MHP’s CEO, provided the following statement to GlobeSt.com: “We are thrilled to have sold this notable asset to a well-respected and established family in the NYC real estate arena. We look forward to working with and providing more opportunities to our friends, Jacob Chetrit and his sons Michael and Simon.”

The HNA joint venture had purchased the 21-floor, 613,644 square-foot property that was built in 1962 for $462.5 million in March 2016, according to Real Capital Analytics.

HNA’s financial difficulties had been widely publicized in the media as the conglomerate shed assets to reduce debt. In April 2018, The Financial Times reported HNA’s debt had climbed to $94 billion. The company had been trying to sell 850 Third Ave. last year.

In addition, in August, The Wall Street Journal reported the US government ordered HNA to sell the building because it houses a police precinct that protects Trump Tower. At the time Reuters had reported that HNA set up a blind trust for its stake in the building to comply with a Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) order. CFIUS reviews international investments for security concerns.

Sturner underscored those events to GlobeSt.com as reasons why the buyer got a very good deal. There was a “need to sell,” he says.

Betsy Kim

Betsy Kim is the bureau chief, East Coast, and New York City reporter for Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. As a lawyer and journalist, Betsy has worked as the director of editorial and content for LexisNexis Lawyers.com, a TV/multi-media journalist for NBC and CBS affiliated TV stations in the Midwest, and an associate producer at Court TV.

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