Chrysler Building sells at massive discount

One of New York’s most recognizable skyscrapers is reportedly selling for a song.

RFR Holding LLC, a New York real-estate firm led by Aby Rosen, and the Austrian real-estate firm Signa Holding GmbH is buying the Chrysler Building for $150 million, according to reports from Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and The Real Deal, citing unnamed sources knowledgeable of the deal.

The sum is 81-percent less than the $800 million the seller – Abu Dhabi Investment Council – paid in 2008 for a 90-percent stake in the art-deco tower. Commercial property values in New York plummeted soon after as the financial crisis struck.

The owners put the building on the market in January.

epa07271833 A view of the Chrysler Building in New York, New York, USA, 09 January 2019. The building, which was originally built in 1930 and has been owned by Abu Dhabi-based investment fund Mubadala and the real estate firm Tishman Speyer since 2008, is reportedly being put up for sale. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE (Photo: Justin Lane/EPA-EFE)

The 77-story building also comes with unique financial challenges. The land beneath the tower is rented from the Cooper Union school. The annual ground lease is $32.5 million, up from just $7.75 million last year. It’s set to reset to $41 million in 2028.

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Maintenance can also be costly for aging buildings, which must compete with newer, more modern, office buildings for tenants.

The Chrysler Building spans 1.2 million square feet. Current tenants include law firm Moses & Singer, Creative Arts Agency and co-working firm Spaces. In January, it was reported that Amazon was near a deal to lease 10,000 square feet.

RFR already owns several standout buildings in New York, including the Mies Van Der Rohe-designed Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue, the Church Missions House at 281 Park Avenue South, and the Lever House at 390 Park Avenue.

RFR and CBRE, which represents the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, did not immediately return requests for comment.


An 80-story office building set to open this week at the World Trade Center will be the third completed skyscraper at the 16-acre site where the twin towers once stood. (June 8) AP



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