Gaedeke Group’s $200M Wall Street Deal

The company bought a 1920s-vintage Class A office tower in Lower Manhattan, its first acquisition in New York City.
44 Wall St. Image courtesy of Gaedeke Group

Gaedeke Group, of Dallas, has acquired the 44 Wall St. office building in Lower Manhattan for $200 million. The transaction was announced by Finback Real Estate, which advised Gaedeke, and by George Comfort & Sons, which will be operating the property for Gaedeke.

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The 24-story, 354,000-square-foot Class A office property at Wall and Williams streets was completed in 1927 and underwent an approximately $24 million renovation and modernization in 2016. It’s currently 84 percent occupied.

The renovations to the building’s lobby featured artwork by noted New York City street artist Hellbent, which put 44 Wall St. on Architectural Digest’s list of “The 12 New York City Office Buildings with the Most Incredible Artwork.”

44 Wall St.’s location provides easy access to transportation. The building is steps from the 2/3 subway line and three blocks from the Fulton Street and WTC/Oculus Station, which offers access to the PATH train.

Gaedeke’s 3 million-square-foot portfolio is in Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Washington, D.C., so this appears to be the company’s first foray into New York City. Will Silverman of Eastdil Secured and Paul Gillen of Hodges Ward Elliott represented the seller in the transaction.

Long search for a long hold

In the second quarter of 2019, Gaedeke engaged Finback President Michael O’Callaghan and Finback’s Gentry Ashmore Hoit to acquire a Class A office asset in Manhattan for a long-term hold.

Over the next eight months, Finback reportedly underwrote 41 possible assets (30 off-market and 11 marketed properties across 15 submarkets) before landing on 44 Wall St., O’Callaghan said in a prepared statement.

In February, JLL was selected to lease the 130,000-square-foot office component of 76 Trinity Place, a 26-story mixed-use development that also includes a five-story community center for Trinity Church Wall Street, the property’s owner.

Year-to-date office leasing in downtown Manhattan is down 24 percent versus last year, but even so, availability was down 130 basis points from a year ago, according to a March report from CBRE. The average asking rent, at $62.93 per square foot, was almost unchanged from a year prior, again according to CBRE.