Madison Capital, PREI Team for $1B Urban Investment Plan

As many investors hesitate to buy assets, even in New York City, Madison Capital and Prudential Investors have their eyes on the prize. The firms are joining forces to acquire up to $1 billion in retail and mixed-use properties, the partners disclosed earlier this week. Arranged by Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman, the joint venture will target primarily smaller and medium-size properties in the $5 million to $100 million range. New York City is likely to be an initial focus of the joint venture, since the bulk of Madison Capital’s assets are currently located in the city. But the partners also indicated that they expect to look for opportunities in other markets as well.   Madison Capital and Prudential disclosed their joint venture at a time when transaction volume in most property sectors has dropped considerably from the robust levels of the past few years. Hit by the double whammy of lower asset values and rising financing costs, many asset owners are reluctant to market their properties. But given Prudential’s deep pockets, the partners may be seeking out bargains offered by falling prices.  Madison Capital manages several high-profile assets in New York City, such as the landmark Bergdorf Goodman Building at 754 Fifth Ave. in Midtown Manhattan, which is fully leased to Neiman Marcus and Van Cleef & Arpels. The firm also owns an 85,000-square-foot, ground-floor retail condominium the Mayflower, a new luxury residential condominium across from Central Park in Manhattan.  For its part, global giant Prudential had assets valued at about $30 billion under management in the United States at the end of 2007. Most of its assets are located either in the East (38 percent) or the West (35.9 percent). Assets located in the South (19.8 percent) and the Midwest (6.3 percent) round out Prudential’s U.S. holdings.