CBRE Investors buys Macklowe office building

The private equity real estate firm has acquired part of the Bertelsmann Building in New York City through its $2.1 billion value-added fund for a reported $360m.

CBRE Investors has purchased the Bertelsmann office building in New York City for a reported $360 million.

The firm declined to disclose financial details of the deal, however, in a statement it said the 905,533-square-foot “condo interest” at 1540 Broadway had been bought through its $2.1 billion value-added vehicle, CBRE Strategic Partners US Value 5 fund.

The property had been owned by troubled real estate investor Harry Macklowe, according to data provider Real Capital Analytics.

Macklowe bought the property for $967.6 million in February 2007 as part of a seven-office portfolio acquired from The Blackstone Group’s Equity Office Properties. RCA reported that the Bertelsmann Building was sold to CBRE Investors for a “rumoured” $360 million. CBRE was unavailable for additional comment at press time.

The 44-story Class A office building, which has more than one million square foot of space, is located on Times Square, and is 78 percent leased. CBRE Investors said it planned to upgrade its portion of the building.

The deal comes little over a month since CBRE Investors bought a three-building portfolio of office properties in Los Angles, New Jersey and Florida from an open-ended fund managed by ING Clarion.

ING accepted a 40 percent write-down on the assets in an effort to maintain liquidity in the vehicle. “It was a strategic sale,” managing director and head of acquisitions and development at Jeffrey Barclay said at a recent real estate conference.

The three properties were purchased for roughly $200 million in an all-equity deal. According to RCA, the properties were acquired by ING for approximately $320 million between 2003 and 2006. For more details on this story, read the March issue of PERE magazine.

Vance Maddocks, chief executive officer of CBRE Investors, said of the Bertelsmann deal:  “We are very selectively acquiring and providing capital to owners of high-quality office assets in the premier US markets.”