Developer Scott Rechler hasn’t lost his taste for New York real estate. Just three months after selling a big chunk of his Manhattan portfolio to Blackstone Group, he is buying the historic office tower at 230 Park Avenue for $1.2 billion.
Mr. Rechler’s company, RXR Realty, has closed on the purchase of the 1.4 million square foot building from a venture of Monday Properties and Invesco. The building, which is sometimes referred to as the Helmsley Building, is just north of Grand Central Terminal and known to many because Park Avenue foot and vehicle traffic run through it.
The deal marks the latest chapter in the building, which has been on a financial roller coaster since the economic downturn. A venture of Monday Properties and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Whitehall real-estate fund purchased the tower in 2007 for $1.15 billion.
In 2011, with real-estate values sharply lower in the wake of the downturn, Invesco took Whitehall’s place in a recapitalization. That deal valued the property at $740 million, according to Anthony Westreich, chairman of Monday Properties.
The sale signals a departure from the New York office sector for Monday Properties, which has been an active player for more than a decade.
“We’re harvesting our assets and selling in New York City,” said Mr.Westreich, who added the company is now focusing on investing both nationally and world-wide. Mr. Rechler said he believed he could increase the value of 230 Park by upgrading the property and remodeling it in a way that creates new retail and office space.
“We’re still very bullish on Manhattan,” he said.
The RXR platform manages 61 commercial real estate properties and investments with an aggregate gross asset value of approximately $18.5 billion, comprising approximately 24.4 million square feet of commercial properties, inclusive of a multi-family residential portfolio of approximately 2,600 units under operation or development, and control of development rights for an additional approximately 3,700 multi-family and for sale units in the New York Metropolitan area. Gross asset value compiled by RXR Realty in accordance with company fair value measurement policy and is comprised of capital invested by RXR and its partners, as well as leverage.