Chicago’s Sam Zell Acquires Three N.Y. Towers

February 06, 2010

Chicago real estate based Equity Residential and its chairman, Sam Zell, has signed a deal to buy three New York luxury apartment towers for a combined $475 million.  Embattled real estate developer Harry Macklowe has sold two of the buildings — the Rivertower, a 38-story property, and 777 Sixth Ave., a 32-story tower — and signed a contract to sell a third — Longacre House, a 26-story residential building — no later than May 1.

Chicago Real Estate Tycoon

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The purchase price for all three equals approximately $470,000 per apartment or $545 per square foot. The buildings include a total of 910 apartment units, as well as 23,339 square feet of retail space and 50,000 square feet of parking space.
Three years ago this month, Macklowe bought part of Sam Zell’s Equity Office portfolio for $7 billion in a deal that quickly fell apart. Macklowe was forced to return those properties to lenders and sell four more to pay back his debts.

Macklowe is reportedly getting out of the residential real estate business with this sale. The three buildings are in more than $140 million in debt. Macklowe Properties also sold New York’s Drake Hotel on Park Avenue to the CIM Group last week for $305 million.
Sam Zell’s Equity Residential — the largest publicly traded apartment owner in the United States — will own and operate 26 properties in the New York metro area once this deal is finalized.

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