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NEW YORK CITY-Approximately 88,000 sf of office space has been bought by the Institute of international Education in the commercial condominium at 809 United Nations Plaza here. To help finance the purchase, IIE, which administers student exchange programs, sold two floors in the building of 17,000 sf to the Saudi Arabia government for about $12.5 million.

The Institute sold the 106,000-sf building two and half years ago to an investor group based in Tokyo and the Foundation for the Support of the United Nations. At the time of the current purchase, the building was facing foreclosure and a court-imposed deadline requiring IIE to come up with the money in three weeks. If it did not, the property would have reverted to the mortgagees, Ben Winter and Melvin Heller, who paid roughly $16 million for the mortgage, according to Gil Robinov, senior executive managing director at GVA Williams, who brokered the deal.

IIE managed to come up with the cash with only one day to spare. “We almost lost it,” Robinov says. “We salvaged it 24 hours before deadline. If we hadn’t found a buyer within three weeks the whole thing would have been wiped out.”

IIE and the governments of Saudia Arabia and Qatar now own the property. “The foreclosure is finished, the mortgagee got paid off and everybody’s happy,” says Robinov.

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