CalPERS in talks to buy NYC tower for $1.9bn

The seller, AXA Financial, also is reportedly selling another Midtown skyscraper to RXR Realty.

California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and RXR Realty are each in discussions with French insurer AXA Financial to buy skyscrapers in New York City’s Manhattan, according to media reports.

CalPERS, the country’s largest pension plan, is bidding about $1.9 billion for AXA’s headquarters, at 787 Seventh Avenue, according to Bloomberg. The 51-story office building, anchored by financial services firm UBS, is 98 percent occupied as of this month, according to Real Capital Analytics.

The pension system last bought a Manhattan building in 2013, when a buyer on behalf of the pension system purchased a $180 million apartment building at 60 Riverside Boulevard from The Carlyle Group.

RXR, a real estate development firm, is offering about $1.65 billion for 1285 Avenue of the Americas, which AXA owns in partnership with JPMorgan Chase, according to Bloomberg. The 39-story property, also known as the PaineWebber Building, is fully occupied as of this month, with major tenants including UBS, advertising agency BBDO and law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison. AXA acquired its interest in the building in November 2012, according to Real Capital Analytics.

The sale would be New York’s second largest overall real estate transaction, and its largest office deal, this year, after The Blackstone Group and Ivanhoé Cambridge’s purchase of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village for $5.3 billion in October.

Eastdil Secured is the broker for the transactions.