Savanna Picks Up NYC Office Tower

The real estate company purchased 19 W. 44th St. from Deka Immobilien GmbH, and plans to invest more than $25 million in renovations at the 300,000-square-foot Midtown property.

By Barbra Murray

19 West 44th St.
19 West 44th St.

The office building at 19 W. 44th in Midtown Manhattan has joined the portfolio of the real estate investment manager and developer for $195 million. The company acquired the approximately 304,000-square-foot property from Deka Immobilien GmbH in a $195 million deal. Savanna has tapped commercial real estate services firm JLL to spearhead leasing at 19 W. 44th.

Savanna comes into possession of 19 W. 44th seven years after Deka Immobilien bought the 18-story tower from SL Green Realty Corp. for $123.2 million. Commercial real estate services firm Colliers International marketed the office destination on the seller’s behalf, and Savanna snapped it up with the assistance of a $92.7 million loan obtained through Mesa West Capital. The loan, however, has its uses beyond the acquisition; approximately $25 million of the proceeds are designated for repositioning the Starrett & Van Vleck-designed building, which was originally developed in 1916. 

“We will position 19 West 44th Street as a property tailored for all tenants in the market, including smaller tenants,” Andrew Kurd, Director at Savanna, told Commercial Property Executive“These tenants prefer the look and feel of boutique office buildings that let them have their own identity.”

Forever keen on Manhattan

At the close of the third quarter, 19 W. 44th was among five pending office transactions totaling nearly $1.9 billion, per a report by Colliers. Sales velocity may change, but investor appetite for Manhattan office product remains strong. “Despite a slowdown in transaction activity, there is no shortage of capital from global and domestic sources seeking investment opportunities in Manhattan,” Richard Baxter, vice chairman with Colliers Capital Markets, noted in the report.

Recently announced Manhattan office deals include UNIZO Holdings Co. Ltd.’s acquisition of 685 Third Ave., a 651,400-square-foot Midtown building, for $467.5 million. Columbia Property Trust also took a big bite out of the Big Apple with the $514 million purchase of a Chelsea-area portfolio consisting of the 165,700-square-foot property at 218 W. 18th St., and 245-249 W. 17th St., two adjoining buildings totaling 281,300 square feet.

Image courtesy of Savanna

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