HNA buys in Chicago, looks to sell in NYC

The Chinese group is teeing up an interest sale in New York soon after it bought an office tower in Chicago from CBRE Global Investors.

HNA Group is having an active real estate season in the US.

Last week, the Haikou, China-based company said it was looking to sell its stake in 1180 Avenue of the Americas, a 22-story New York building. The Chinese conglomerate bought a 90 percent interest in the Midtown office property for $259 million in 2011, comprised of an 85 percent stake from private equity firm The Carlyle Group and a 5 percent interest from a local developer.

The 398,000 square foot building is fully occupied, with anchor tenant Scripps, a media company, occupying 126,000 square feet through 2021.

“Due to the strong NYC real estate market fundamentals, the value of 1180 is anticipated to continue to increase,” HNA said in a statement Friday.

In Chicago, the firm bought a 50-story office building at 181 West Madison Street from Los Angeles-based CBRE Global Investors for $359 million, according to RCA. CBRE GI had purchased the building in November 2013 for $302 million.

A CBRE spokeswoman declined to comment, but PERE understands the firm bought the building with capital from by CBRE Strategic Partners US Value 6. The value-added fund closed in December 2012 on $1.1 billion, the firm said at the time.

The Chicago office, at 181 West Madison, is a 940,000 square foot building built in 1989 and renovated in 2014, according to RCA. The tower is home to anchor tenant Northern Trust Bank. Amenities include a fitness center, bike sharing and car wash.

The Chicago acquisition and New York disposition come as HNA continues to expand its US presence. Last week, the firm agreed to acquire a 24.95 percent stake in OM Asset Management, Old Mutual’s US asset management business, for approximately $446 million, PERE reported. In March, HNA led a joint venture group that agreed to acquire 245 Park Avenue, a 45-story office tower in New York, from Brookfield Asset Management and New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, for $2.2 billion.