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This Week's N.Y. Deal Sheet

After the slowest Q3 since the recession for Manhattan real estate investment sales, more than $1.8B worth of commercial buildings traded hands last week signaling that Q4 could bring a strong close to a moribund year for sales activity. 

TOP SALES

685 Third Ave. in Midtown Manhattan
685 Third Ave. in Midtown Manhattan

Japanese investment firm Unizo Holdings closed on its acquisition of 685 Third Ave. for a final price of $467.5M, slightly more than the $450M price rumored back in August. TH Real Estate, a subsidiary of TIAA, sold the 646K SF office building, which it acquired from a distressed Pfizer in 2010 for $190M. CBRE's Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan marketed the building for TH.

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Columbia Property Trust closed on its acquisition of two Chelsea office buildings for a combined $514.1M. The Atlanta-based REIT paid New York REIT $339.4M for the office building at 245-249 West 17th St., otherwise known as Twitter's New York headquarters, and $174.7M for 216 West 18th St., which serves as Red Bull's New York headquarters. New York REIT had marketed the buildings as part of a four-piece portfolio offering, but agreed to part with the two.

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The third week of October was a popular time for big-ticket real estate transactions to close, because it was also when Savanna closed on its $195M purchase of 19 West 44th St., better known as the Berkeley Building, from Deka Immobilien. The 18-story, 304K SF office building sits in the heart of Midtown, roughly in the center of Times Square, Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park. Savanna took out a $92M acquisition loan and plans a $25M renovation of the building, retaining JLL's leasing team led by Mitchell Konsker. The 101-year-old building will get upgrades to the lobby, roof and facade and a new branding campaign.

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Related has closed on its purchase of several sites in West Chelsea for a combined $191.6M, along with a $25M purchase of air rights, to move forward on a 21-story mixed-use development. Four of the sites, on 22nd and 23rd streets and 11th Avenue, were previously owned by Amerco Real Estate Co., which sold the parcels for a combined $175M. The other two sites, 162-164 11th Ave., sold for $16.6M. Related is planning a 145-unit, 288K SF mixed-use building to replace the U-Haul facility at the site.

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SL Green has closed on its $171M sale of Brooklyn's tallest office tower, Downtown Brooklyn's 16 Court St., to Los Angeles-based CIM Group. The 318K SF tower, which SL Green bought as part of a JV in 2007 for $104.5M, is 94% leased.

Sales data courtesy of Reonomy.

TOP LEASES

261 Madison Ave. in Midtown Manhattan
261 Madison Ave. in Midtown Manhattan

USI Insurance Services is keeping its regional headquarters at The Sapir Organization's 261 Madison Ave. in the heart of Midtown. USI will stay in a 34K SF spread it has subleased in the building, which is one block away from the Lord & Taylor flagship that will be converted into WeWork's new global headquarters. Cushman & Wakefield Managing Directors David Itzkowitz and Jack Keesser represented the tenant in the lease, a direct deal for all of the 384K SF building's fifth floor and part of its sixth. Alex Sapir and Eli Joseb represented Sapir in-house.

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Lafayette 148 is expanding its commitment at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. After initially agreeing to a 68K SF lease to move some of its operations to the under-construction Building 77, the retailer has decided to expand further, bringing its total commitment to over 100K SF, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. CEO David Ehrenberg confirmed at Bisnow's Brooklyn State of the Market event last week. With the added space, the women's retail brand, named after its SoHo headquarters' address, will move all of its office uses to Brooklyn, keeping only a showroom on the ground floor of 148 Lafayette St. Ehrenberg said the company eventually plans to shutter that showroom; it is opening a ground-floor showroom at Building 77. JLL's Michael Shenot represents BNYDC. Asking rents at the building are in the $20s/SF.

TOP FINANCING DEALS

This Week's N.Y. Deal Sheet
16 Court St. in Brooklyn

To finance its pair of Chelsea acquisitions, Columbia Property Trust took out a pair of loans from its operating partnership. To fund the purchase of Twitter's HQ at 245 West 17th St., CPT received a $146.2M debt package. For 215 West 18th St., it borrowed $66.3M. 

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CIM Group also closed on acquisition financing for its purchase of 16 Court St., securing $111M from Citibank's Citi Real Estate Funding fund. 

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New York nonprofit HP Polyclinic Housing Development Fund has acquired the Polyclinic Apartments, a Section 8 housing building at 345 West 50th St. in Hell's Kitchen, for $110M, and used acquisition financing originated by Walker & Dunlop, insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Financing data courtesy of Reonomy.