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Piecemeal

It was announced on Sunday that well known Chinese and Brazilian families acquired a 40% interest in the prized NYC General Motors Building in a deal that establishes an implied value of the asset at $3.4 billion, a price which likely makes it the most valuable office building in the United States. The iconic building, which was completed in 1968, has had quite a run over the past 10 years. In 2003, the GM building set the North American real estate sales record for the price of an office building when it was sold to the Macklowe Organization for $1.4 billion, and then in 2008 it was traded by Macklowe who was caught in the fiscal crisis at the onset of the great recession, for a ticket price of an estimated $2.8 billion to a joint venture between Boston Properties, Goldman Sachs Real Estate Opportunities Fund and Meraas Capital (a Dubai based real estate private equity firm). Boston Properties will retain its 60% interest in the building after the sale. I review the facts associated with the history of the building trades because it highlights the extraordinary demand for interests in trophy New York Properties. I reckon that we’ll see more action over the next few months as investors with partial interests in prized NYC office buildings are willing to trade their interest for sky-high core asset values.

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