Savanna Makes a Solid Profit

Five years and a thoughtful repositioning program can make all the difference in an office-property price tag.
1375 Broadway

Five years and a thoughtful repositioning program can make all the difference in an office-property price tag, and the recent trading of 1375 Broadway serves as a case in point. Savanna, which had acquired the 510,000-square-foot Manhattan office tower office for $135 million in late 2010, has just sold it to for $310 million.

Savanna kicked off its transformation of 1375 Broadway with renovations and redesigns and then tackled the tower’s tenancy, increasing the office and retail occupancy by 190,000 square feet over the last half-decade with leasing assistance from commercial real estate services firms Colliers International and Winick Realty. The building’s rebirth also brought a boost in rents, which have risen from $22 per square-foot in 2010 to a current rate in the low $60 per square-foot range.

Savanna relied on Eastdil Secured and Savills Studley for representation in the sales transaction, with the former also standing in for Westbrook.

It was a timely move on Savanna’s part; in the Manhattan office sector, it’s beginning to look a lot like the pre-downturn days.

“The New York City investment sales market is on pace to reach or exceed the historical peak sales volume of $48.5 billion in 2007, with year-to-date sales of $28 billion. Pricing is up, on a per square-foot basis, for all types, including land, compared to the prior peak,” Scott Latham, vice chairman at JLL, told Commercial Property Executive. JLL did not participate in the 1375 Broadway transaction.

According to JLL, the average sale price for all office assets across Manhattan is now $975 per square-foot, reflecting investor confidence in continued rent growth through all asset classes. Cap rates have been hovering in the mid-3 percent range, near the 2007 low of 3.55 percent. And with interest rates at a lower rate than they were in 2007, investors just can’t get enough. “With longer term investment horizons for today’s active buyers, this low-interest rate environment is enabling investors to secure long-term, attractive returns with more insulation from market corrections,” Latham added.