Children’s Aid Sells Manhattan Office Building

Habib American Bank purchased the seven-story property, which will become its new headquarters.
150 East 45th St. Image courtesy of JLL

Children’s Aid has finalized the disposition of all its Midtown properties with the latest sale. Habib American Bank purchased 150 E. 45th St. in Manhattan’s Midtown East submarket from the nonprofit organization for $28.3 million.

The 32,270-square-foot office building, also known as the Lord Memorial Building, was designed by architecture firm Gibbons, Heidtmann & Salvador in 1950 for Children’s Aid. The property was originally three stories tall but later upgraded to seven stories in the mid-1960s. Now, the Lord Memorial Building features a T-shaped design that allows more light and air to hit the office floorplates that average around 5,400 square feet.

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JLL’s Bob Knakal, Jonathan Hageman, Clint Olsen, Ellen Herman, George D’Ambrosio and Albert Mamiye oversaw the sale, while JLL’s Max Herzog provided financial advisory services. HAB was represented by Jonata Dayan from Co-op and Condo Sales and Brett Weiss from HSP Real Estate Group.

Currently, the nonprofit organization is occupying the 27,102 square feet of office space between the second and seventh floors but will be leaving the building once the sale closes. The property also includes 5,168 square feet of ground-floor retail space that is currently vacant, Olsen told Commercial Property Executive. Olsen also told CPE that the property includes protected air rights that will preserve the light and air access as Children’s Aid secured the building’s air rights and created a perpetual light and air easement that prevents further vertical development.

Olsen told CPE that HAB will be conducting an extensive renovation on 150 E. 45th St. and will occupy the property as its new headquarters. Knakal said in prepared remarks that the transaction represented some positive news for the investment sales market since a foreign bank was still interested in the asset despite the economic conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Knakal, Hageman and D’Ambrosio also recently represented a joint venture that sold its 188,000-square-foot office property in the Bronx for $65 million.

Relocating HQ from Midtown to Harlem

Don Shacknai, Children’s Aid’s chief operating officer, told CPE that the nonprofit is also in the midst of moving its headquarters to 117 W. 124th St. in Harlem. With a consolidation to its upcoming Harlem location, Children’s Aid also sold off its former headquarters of more than 100 years at 105 E. 22nd St. in 2015.

Following the latest step of the sale of the Lord Memorial Building, Shacknai said the organization is still on track to move in by the summer of 2020. The new headquarters will house 200 of Children’s Aid’s employees in a build-to-suit commercial condominium. The 55,565-square-foot offices will span four floors and help Children’s Aid cut down on costs by saving on occupancy and energy costs, while also putting the nonprofit closer to its 11 locations in Harlem and more than 40 sites throughout the city.