550 Madison Avenue, the former Sony Building in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, has a new owner and a new — but as yet unknown — name.
Two property investors, the US subsidiary of Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group and London-based Chelsfield, have agreed to pay between $1.3bn and $1.4bn to buy the New York property — one of the city’s landmark office buildings.
Its previous owner, Chetrit Group, had hoped to convert much of the 37-story tower into exclusive condominiums and a luxury hotel. But news of the sale puts an end to its plans, at a time when the residential property market in New York, as in other financial capitals, softens.
Chetrit had planned to charge up to $32m for a duplex unit if its planned conversion into residential space had gone through — fitting for a structure where interior scenes for the movie Wall Street were filmed.
Instead, the new owners plan to keep the building as it is today: one of the premier office and commercial addresses in New York.
The deal represents a modest uplift on the $1.1bn that Chetrit paid in 2013. “It is neither an over the top crazy price paid for with lots of leverage, nor is it super cheap,” said one real estate investor familiar with the transaction.
550 Madison Avenue was designed by architect Philip Johnson and his partner John Burgee in the postmodern style of the 1980s.
With its distinctive Chippendale-style roof pediment, the tower featured in several movies, and its huge atrium contained the Sony Wonder Technology Lab — a multimedia museum — as well as a Sony retail outlet. It has only ever had two major tenants: original occupants AT&T, and Sony itself. Sony moved downtown two months ago.
Olayan and Chelsfield expect the deal to close in May. In the meantime, the two buyers will seek new tenants for the space — and may offer a big enough tenant the chance to have its name on the building.
Few other upmarket buildings are available in the most prestigious part of New York. Most new office space has come on either downtown, around the rebuilt World Trade Center, or in new projects on the far west side where Hudson Yards has attracted tenants including private equity group KKR.
麦迪逊大街550号由建筑师菲利普?约翰逊(Philip Johnson)和其合作伙伴约翰?伯吉(John Burgee)按照上世纪80年代的后现代风格设计而成。
带着独特的奇彭代尔式的屋顶山墙，这座大楼曾出现在多部电影中。大楼巨大的中庭包括了多媒体博物馆——索尼奇迹技术实验室(Sony Wonder Technology Lab)和一家索尼(Sony)零售门店。该大楼只有过两家主要的租客：最初的租客AT&T，以及索尼自身。两个月前，索尼已迁至下城区。
在纽约这个最负盛名的地段，可供出租的其他高档大楼寥寥无几。多数新的办公空间要么来自下城区重建的世贸中心(World Trade Center)附近，要么来自纽约最靠西边的新地产项目——那里的哈德逊广场吸引了包括私人股本集团KKR在内的多家租客。