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Korean Firm Enters U.S. With $266M Apartment Acquisition From Related

The Lyric, at 255 West 94th St., was developed by Related in 2001.

Korean investment group Eugene Asset Management dropped $266M buying The Lyric, a 285-unit rental building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, marking the firm’s first American real estate acquisition.

Related Cos. built the 20-story property at 255 West 94th St. in 2001, and the sale closed last week, PincusCo reports. As of Wednesday morning, the sale of the full-block building wasn't reflected in city property records. Related is keeping a small stake in the property and will continue managing it, according to PincusCo.

Real estate players have been voicing concerns that New York is becoming less attractive to buyers, with investors looking to areas like the Sun Belt and areas considered tax-friendly and regulation-light like Florida and Georgia. But proponents of the city have pointed out that rents in the multifamily sector show no sign of slowing down. Last month, Manhattan’s median rent was at $3,700, a 19% increase from March 2021, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

And while foreign investment was muted through the worst of the pandemic, overseas buyers have been returning. Last year, foreign investors bought $70.8B worth of U.S. real estate assets, according to Real Capital Analytics, more than double the volume of the year before. It marked the highest total since overseas pensions, sovereign wealth funds and other institutions dropped $94.6B in American real estate back in 2018.

Eugene Asset Management is a division of Seoul-based Eugene Investment & Securities. Korean and German investors have been noted among NYC capital markets experts as the two most active sources of international buyers. The sale price of the Lyric works out to around $933,333 per unit, according to PincusCo.