RXR Shells Out Big for Helmsley Building

In one of the largest office building sales so far this year in New York City, a JV of Invesco and Monday Properties has said goodbye to a historic Manhattan property.
Helmsley bldg

In one of the largest office building sales so far this year in New York City, a joint venture of Invesco and Monday Properties has sold 230 Park Ave. to RXR Realty for $1.2 billion, it was announced Tuesday.

The 34-story, 1.4-million-square-foot trophy property, also known as the Helmsley Building, had been acquired by Invesco Real Estate in 2011 for $760 million. The building is currently 94 percent occupied to tenants such as Swiss Re, Voya Financial, Clarion Partners, Reed Elsevier, ING, HSH Nordbank and Simon Property Group.

Built in 1929, 230 Park Ave. was designed and constructed by Warren and Wetmore, who also designed Grand Central Terminal, as the headquarters for the New York Central Railroad.

An owner and operator of 230 Park Ave. since 2002, Monday Properties put about $200 million into repositioning the building, including several interior restoration projects involving improvements to the lobby, restrooms, common corridors and custom wall coverings, as well as the installation of a 700-LED façade lighting system.

Monday also worked with the Landmarks Preservation Commission in renovating all passenger elevator cabs and visitor welcome centers. Both HVAC and electrical service were upgraded throughout the building.

These investments resulted in awards that included five BOMA awards (including Outstanding Building of the Year in the Mid-Atlantic Region and 2015 Historic Building of the Year), 2014 Historical Building of the Year and the Design Award of Merit from the Society of American Registered Architects.

In addition, a series of renovations improved energy efficiency and carbon emissions, earning the building both the EPA Energy Star rating and the rare LEED-EB Gold certification.

Anthony Westreich

Anthony Westreich, Monday Properties

“We are value-add investors and take a global macroeconomic approach to our investments, which led to our partnership’s decision to sell 230 Park Ave. at this time,” Monday Properties founder & CEO Anthony Westreich told Commercial Property Executive. “We are seeing historically low interest rates throughout the world drive capital toward cash-yielding fixed assets such as real estate in established and liquid markets like New York City, where currency risk is much less volatile.”

“This creates a perfect supply-and-demand curve where capital availability is far outpacing the relatively static supply of available trophy quality assets like 230 Park Ave.,” he added. “This dynamic created a very competitive sales process leading to multiple offers in what we believe is a seller’s market.”

Richard Giusto, Danielle Gonzalez and Michael Lynott of Greenberg Traurig represented Invesco Advisers in the sale. Monday Properties was represented by a team led by Julian Wise, a real estate partner with Schulte Roth & Zabel, with assistance from special counsel Seth  Henslovitz.