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NEW YORK CITY-A joint venture led by Island Fund’s Andrew Farkas placed the winning bid for the nearly 1.4-million-sf 230 Park Ave., sources tell GlobeSt.com The other party is said to be an unnamed “prince” and the winning price is approximately $700 million, according to one source.

Farkas is the former Insignia Financial’s CEO. He stayed throughout the Insingia/CB Richard Ellis merger in 2003, but left at the end of the process. Island Fund is an entity controlled by Farkas and other Insignia executives which purchased all of Insignia’s real estate investment assets for approximately $44 million and assumed approximately $7.8 million of employment-related contractual obligations.

When the property was placed on the market last month, industry insiders predicted it would attract intense interest and that proved to be the case. “There was a lot of interest, a lot of responses,” says a source. At the time it was estimated the site would command more than $600 million. It has undergone approximately $45 million in capital improvements recently and asking rents are within the $50-to $60-dollar range. The trophy asset last sold in 1998 for $250 million.

CBRE’s Darcy Stacom and William Shanahan, executive vice presidents and partners, marketed the site, also known as the Helmsley Building. CBRE officials would not comment. Office tenants include Swiss Re America Holding Corp., Bear Stearns & Co. and HSH Nordbank. On the retail side, Bobby Vans Steakhouse, Starbucks and Wachovia Bank are on the roster. Earlier this year, the neighboring Metlife Building at 200 Park Ave. garnered the highest price ever paid for a single asset commercial property in the US. Tishman Speyer acquired the landmark for $1.72 billion.

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