Vornado Acquires Retail Condo at 666 Fifth Ave. for $707M Among Flurry of Deals

Vornado Realty Trust entered into an agreement to acquire a retail condominium located at 666 Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street for approximately $707 million, adding to its 2.2-million-sq.-ft. portfolio of Manhattan street retail. The asset has 126 ft. of frontage on Fifth Avenue and contains 114,000 sq. ft., 39,000 sq. ft. in fee and 75,000 sq. ft. by long-term lease from the 666 Fifth Avenue office condominium, 49.5 percent owned by Vornado. This retail space is leased to Uniqlo, Hollister and Swatch.

The purchase will be funded with property level debt and proceeds from asset sales and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions.

It’s the third major transaction involving 666 Fifth Avenue in the past 18 months.

Last March, Spanish firm Inditex agreed to pay $324 million to buy a 38,750-sq.-ft. retail condo at the building. The price worked out to $8,361 per square foot, at the time, the highest figure ever paid for a retail space larger than 5,000 square feet, according to New York City-based real estate research firm Real Capital Analytics.

Then, in December, Vornado formed a joint venture with Kushner Companies to recapitalize the office portion of 666 Fifth Avenue, a 39-story, 1.45-million-sq-ft. class-A office building located on the full block front of Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Street. Vornado acquired a 49.5 percent interest in the property from the Kushner in that transaction. In connection, the existing $1.215 billion mortgage loan was modified into a $1.1 billion A-Note and a $115 million B-Note and extended to February 2019; and a portion of the current pay interest was deferred to the B-Note.

In 2008, Crown Acquisitions and Carlyle Group bought a controlling 49 percent stake in the building’s retail from the Kushner Cos. that valued the retail space in the building at $525 million.

In a separate transaction, Vornado agreed to sell Mart segment assets, the Washington Design Center, the Boston Design Center, the L.A. Mart and the Canadian Trade Shows for $228 million. Of that, $193 million is cash and $35 million is 9-month seller financing for the L.A. Mart. Net proceeds will be approximately $144 million after closing costs, $67 million of indebtedness on the Boston Design Center and income taxes on the gain on the sale of the Canadian Trade Shows.

The sales of the L.A. Mart and the Canadian Trade Shows have closed. The other sales are subject to customary closing conditions and are expected to close in the third quarter. Vornado will recognize an $11.9 million loss in the second quarter and a $24.5 million gain in the third quarter, including non-comparable Funds From Operations of $19.2 million from the sale of the Canadian Trade Shows.

In January, Vornado sold the Mart segment’s 350 West Mart Center for $228 million, resulting in a $55 million gain. Vornado also is in the process of transferring 7 West 34th Street to its New York segment. Vornado continues to own the 3.5 million square foot Chicago Merchandise Mart.

In a third deal, Vornado announced that its 25 percent owned real estate fund, Vornado Capital Partners, L.P., has acquired 1100 Lincoln Road, a 167,000-sq.-ft. retail property, the western anchor of the Lincoln Road shopping district in Miami Beach, Florida. The property is 97 percent leased, with principal tenants Regal Cinemas, Anthropologie and Banana Republic and includes a 298-space parking garage.

The purchase price was $132 million, financed in part by a $66 million new mortgage loan on the property. The loan bears interest at LIBOR plus 2.75 percent and matures in July 2015 with two one-year extension options.

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