Westbrook-led consortium buys rest of massive NYC office

A consortium that includes Westbrook, Fortress and Atlas Capital has bought the majority stake in a massive 1.2 million-square-foot office that stretches across Manhattan’s SoHo and Meatpacking neighborhoods for approximately $250 million. The consortium now fully owns the property.

A consortium featuring Westbrook Partners and Fortress Investment Group has acquired the majority stake of a mostly vacant, 1.2 million-square-foot office in New York City for approximately $250 million. The consortium now fully owns the property.

According to data provider Real Capital Analytics, the consortium, which includes New York-based operator Atlas Capital Group as well as Westbrook and Fortress, acquired a 50.1 percent share of the Saint John’s Terminal building on 550 Washington Street from real estate mogul Eugene Grant. Prior to the sale, which values the property at nearly $500 million, the consortium owned the other 49.9 percent. Representatives from Grant's office declined to comment.

The four-story property, which is more than three blocks long, straddles New York’s SoHo neighborhood and the trendy Meatpacking District. The massive property, however, is mostly vacant, with media group Bloomberg occupying roughly 372,000 square feet for its disaster recovery site. Currently, there is approximately 750,000 square feet available for lease. 

The former New York Railroad Terminal initially was developed in 1933 as a freight facility and was the original terminus of the High Line. It was repurposed as an office property in the 1980s by Grant, who took control of the asset in the 1960s along with Lionel Bauman.

The Westbrook-led consortium bought its initial share from Bauman in 2006 for $207 million, also taking on $160 million in debt. Various media outlets are reporting that the consortium currently is looking into a refurbishing program that could cost anywhere between $75 million and $100 million. Planned upgrades to the property include new elevators, windows, roofing and HVAC.