Foreign investors acquire stake in New York’s General Motors Building

The building, with 2 million-square-foot, is one of the most recognisable and prized office properties in Manhattan.

New Statesman
Chinese property developer Zhang Xin. Photograph: Getty Images.

The families of prominent Chinese property developer Zhang Xin and  Safra banking empire, controlled by Brazilian banker Moise Safra, together acquired 40 per cent equity in New York’s General Motors Building, which values the property at about $3.4bn.

The stake was bought by Sungate Trust, which was formed by Xin and the Safra family’s New York-based investment arm Safra & Co, reports Bloomberg, citing a person with the knowledge of the matter.  

The deal to pay over $700m, excluding the debt that the buyers would assume, was completed on 31 May, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

Xin is the CEO of Soho China Ltd, the largest property developer in Beijing, China.

The building, with 2 million-square-foot, is one of the most recognisable and prized office properties in Manhattan.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s U.S. Real Estate Opportunities Fund, and Dubai-based private-investment firm Meraas Capital LLC were the sellers of the stake. The remaining stake in the property is owned by Boston Properties Inc, which along with its partners, acquired the interest for about $2.8bn from Macklowe Properties in 2008.

In another deal, Carlyle Group has agreed to sell an office building in the neighbouring location for $1.3bn, to Crown Acquisitions Inc. and Highgate Holdings.

Deals over $1bn have become a rarity in the US due to the financial downturn.

As a result of the downturn, several companies have either opted to downsize or go for cheaper options, which in turn has negatively impacted several office properties in the US, even though popular and premier office buildings have reported rise in rents and occupancy rates.