Savanna sells Twitter’s NY HQ for $335m

The New York-based real estate firm has exited 245 and 249 West 17th Street for more than quadruple the price it paid for the buildings in late 2012.

New York-based real estate investment firm Savanna is under contract to sell Twitter’s New York headquarters at 245 and 249 West 17th Street to New York REIT (NYRT) for $335 million. Savanna paid $75.8 million when it originally acquired the vacant buildings in November 2012.

After purchasing the two Chelsea properties, Savanna completed a $29 million capital improvement program and implemented a leasing effort. The firm brought in Twitter to lease 214,765 square feet at both properties, as well as modern furniture retailer Room & Board for 60,062 square feet at 249 West 17th Street and indoor cycling studio Flywheel Sports for 3,656 square feet at 245 West 17th Street. The buildings are now 99 percent leased, according to data from Real Capital Analytics.

“We are very proud of our redevelopment and leasing efforts at 245 and 249 West 17th Street,” said Christopher Schlank, managing partner of Savanna. “After acquiring two aging, vacant buildings, Savanna worked hard to deliver a Class A, fully occupied product to the market. We believe that NYRT is acquiring two outstanding properties in an area where rents continue to grow substantially.”

Built in 1902, 249 West 17th Street served as the original warehouse and wagon house for the Siegel Cooper department store, while 245 West 17thStreet was built in 1909 and its first six floors share pass-through connections to 249 West 17th Street. Savanna’s renovations included new lobbies and security systems, water-cooled HVAC systems, new elevators and a restored façade and roof. The properties are now LEED Gold certified.

In December, PERE reported on another big New York exit for Savanna when the firm sold 15 East 26th Street to Rockrose Development for $105 million. Savanna acquired the 150,000-square-foot property for $57 million in February 2012 from a joint venture between Angelo Gordon & Co, Belvedere Capital and Metropolitan Realty and executed a $9 million capital improvement plan.