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Fifth Avenue office tower sells for $611 per sq. ft.

A Midtown Manhattan office building has changed hands for a steep $611 per sq. ft. Chicago-based Walton Street Capital, which sponsors private equity real estate investment funds, bought the 435,500 sq. ft. 717 Fifth Ave. office tower from Yale University Investments for $266 million, reports the New York Post.

A 26-story green glass office tower, 717 Fifth Ave. is located between 55th and 56th streets. The tower also includes 45,000 sq. ft. of retail space.

The sale price of 717 Fifth Ave. rivals a record set last summer when Boston Properties paid $630 sq. ft. for the nearby 399 Park Avenue. That price suggested to many observers that the building sales market was very hot. Both 399 Park Avenue and 717 Fifth Avenue boast very low vacancies, certainly a driving force behind their high sale prices.

"This is a terrific asset with a great location, high credit tenants and low vacancy," says Bruce Mosler, president of U.S operations at Cushman & Wakefield. Walton Street Capital awarded the leasing and management of 717 Fifth Ave. to the New York-based firm.

The property is nearly 100% leased, according to Cushman & Wakefield, but the entire 26th floor — an 8,000 sq. ft. penthouse — is expected to be offered through Cushman & Wakefield next year. The retail space is leased to Hugo Boss and Escada’s flagship stores, and Merrill Lynch occupies five floors of the building.

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