Northwood Buys NYC Office Tower for $305M

The seller, Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, reportedly faces a looming liquidity crisis and is looking to dispose of $16 billion in assets worldwide.

1180 Ave. of the Americas in NYC
1180 Ave. of the Americas in NYC

Northwood Investors has purchased 1180 Ave. of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan for a reported $305 million. The 23-story, 386,921-square-foot building, along “Corporate Row” in the Plaza District, includes 13,679 square feet of ground-floor retail.

NKF Capital Markets arranged acquisition financing in the form of a $237 million loan reportedly provided by RBC Royal Bank. The loan was brokered by Jordan Roeschlaub and Dustin Stolly, NKF Capital Markets’ vice chairmen & co-heads, Debt & Structured Finance. NKF was also Northwood’s exclusive financial advisor.

The Class A building was completed in 1963 and renovated in 1997 and is fully occupied, according to information provided to Commercial Property Executive by Yardi Matrix. The location is close to Rockefeller Center and at least three transit stations.

The seller was Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which had bought the building in 2011 for $259 million from the Carlyle Group, also per Yardi Matrix. MHP Real Estate Services also seems to have held a 10 percent ownership stake.

The anchor tenant is Scripps Networks Interactive, and among the other tenants are several law firms, including Bryant Rabbino, Whatley Kallas and Ostrolenk Faber, a boutique firm specializing in intellectual property.

Neither Northwood nor NKF would comment on the transaction or the financing.

HNA’s retrenchment

As a purchaser, HNA had a stellar year, though the proverbial chickens evidently are coming home to roost.

The conglomerate was the buyer in New York City’s top office deal of 2017, when it acquired 245 Park Ave. from Brookfield Properties for $2.2 billion. The 45-story building near Grand Central Terminal totals 1.8 million square feet.

HNA also topped Commercial Property Executive’s list of the biggest 2017 buyers of office buildings in Chicago, having spent $359 million there.

But at the end of January, Bloomberg reported that HNA Group is facing a massive liquidity crunch and is looking to sell roughly $16 billion in assets in the first half of this year. Exactly what’s going up for sale is unknown at this point, but Bloomberg noted that an estimate from Real Capital Analytics places HNA’s worldwide CRE holdings at more than $14 billion.

Another factor reportedly driving HNA’s retrenchment is the Chinese government’s increasing desire to restrain capital from leaving the country.

Image courtesy of Yardi Matrix