Savanna Acquires Office Tower in Midtown Manhattan for $381M

by John Nelson

NEW YORK CITY — Savanna, a real estate owner and developer based in New York City, has purchased a 39-story office tower in Midtown Manhattan for $381 million. The nearly 500,000-square-foot building is located at 521 Fifth Ave., which is near the corner of 43rd Street and one block from Grand Central Station in New York City.

The seller is a joint venture between SL Green Realty Corp., Quantum Global Real Estate and LaSalle Investment Management. Bill Shanahan, Darcy Stacom, David Fowler and Doug Middleton of CBRE represented the joint venture in the sale.

Built in 1929, the office tower is LEED Gold-certified and Energy Star-rated, but Savanna plans to make significant capital improvements to the asset. More specifically, the renovation includes a complete entrance and lobby overhaul, new signage, selective systems upgrades and common corridor work.

“After we make a few select cosmetic improvements, we believe this property will be well-positioned for a successful leasing campaign,” says Andrew Fichte, managing director of Savanna.

Savanna has selected a CBRE team led by Peter Turchin and David Hollander as the leasing agent for the office tower. At year-end 2018, the build was more than 96 percent leased to tenants including China Trust Commerical Bank and Berkadia Real Estate Advisors.

The building features ground-floor retail space leased to tenants including Urban Outfitters and Equinox.

James Million, Ethan Gottlieb and Tom Traynor of CBRE arranged an undisclosed amount of acquisition financing on behalf of Savanna. The lender and loan amount were not disclosed.

Laurie Grasso, Susan Saslow, Douglas Hoffmann and Michal Baum at Hunton Andrews Kurth represented Savanna as legal counsel in the acquisition.

The privately held Savanna is led by Christopher Schloank and Nicholas Bienstock and employs about 45 investment, asset management, construction and leasing professionals.

Since 2006, Savanna has invested more than $4 billion in total capital across 15 million square feet of real estate assets in New York City’s five boroughs. The company has invested on behalf of, and in partnership with, institutional real estate pension funds, private equity funds, REITS and hedge funds active in the United States.

— John Nelson

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