SL Green Realty Corp. has sold the vacant office condominium at 609 Fifth Ave. to a domestic investor for $100.5 million. The sale by Manhattan’s largest office landlord is expected to close later this month. The deal follows SL Green’s repositioning of the entire building, which included a new core and elevators, as well as relocating the office lobby from Fifth Avenue to 49th Street.
SL Green had bought the Class B asset in June 2006 with the help of an $85 million loan from Citibank, according to CommercialEdge information. In May 2020, SL Green sold the retail portion of the building to an affiliate of the Reuben Brothers for $168 million.
Situated in Manhattan’s Plaza District submarket, the 13-story structure is on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 49th Street. Built in 1925, the property has 139,400 rentable square feet of office space that was fully occupied by WeWork until last year.
An SL Green spokesperson was unable to provide additional requested information to Commercial Property Executive as of press time. Harrison Sitomer, SL Green’s chief investment officer, said, in a prepared statement, that the investment trust continues to work toward generating value for its shareholders through strategic dispositions that generate liquidity for reinvestment and debt repayment.
Selling and buying
Last December, SL Green was busily divesting Manhattan assets. In deals totaling more than $400 million, the REIT sold interests in three Manhattan office properties: a 25 percent interest in the signature One Madison Avenue project; its ownership stake in the office and garage condominiums at 110 E. 42nd St.; and its leasehold interest in the multifamily building at 1080 Amsterdam Ave.
Just shortly later, SL Green sold a 160,000-square-foot loft-style building at 707 11th Ave. for $95 million, having acquired the asset in January 2020 for $90 million. In April, however, the REIT turned around and—in Manhattan’s largest office deal to date—agreed to acquire Oxford Properties’ 450 Park Ave. for $445 million.
The Plaza District led Manhattan’s first-quarter office leasing, with more than 1.5 million square feet, according to a recent report from Colliers. This was driven in large part by Mutual of America’s lease at 320 Park Ave. and Morgan Stanley’s 182,000-square-foot expansion at 55 E. 52nd St.
Consistent with those deals, the financial, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector was responsible for about half of Midtown Manhattan’s leasing volume in the first quarter.