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Silverstein Prepared to Buy ABC Complex on UWS for Nearly $1B



Silverstein Properties has its financing for one of the largest investment-sales deals of the year, The Real Deal reports.

Deutsche Bank will loan about $800 million in financing toward the project, which totals $1 billion and is a purchase of the American Broadcasting Company headquarters on the Upper West Side near Lincoln Center and WNET, sources told The Real Deal. The sources added that the deal should close next week.

While the deal is about to close on this expansive and key location for ABC, its parent company, Disney, is in the middle of a monster acquisition of 20th Century Fox. After the Department of Justice moved to block a merger between AT&T and Time Warner, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the merger to go forward, which gave Disney the legal precedent it needed to go right ahead with its acquisition of the Rupert Murdoch asset. ABC’s complex of office buildings and studios runs along West 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, and includes the 22-story, 420,000-square-foot property at 77 W. 66th St., The Real Deal reports. One of the streets by the building is named in honor of the network’s late nightly newsman, Peter Jennings.

Silverstein signed a soft contract in April and only waited a few weeks before making it more official, sources said.

The buildings may be demolished, though final plans have not been released yet. Sources told The Real Deal that the complex was marketed as both development opportunity for luxury residential condominiums or as a new office complex.

Demolition would not occur for at least a few more years, as the broadcaster wants to lease the space back until a new headquarters is ready, The Real Deal reports. Disney was reportedly considering a Trinity Church-owned development site at 4 Hudson Square that would allow for 1.2 million square feet.

Eastdil Secured is brokering the sale and the financing. Representatives for Silverstein and Eastdil declined to comment, and Disney could not be reached by The Real Deal.

The city has seen a handful of blockbuster investment-sales deals, like Google’s $2.4 billion purchase of the Chelsea Market building and Maefield Development’s $1.53 billion buyout of its partners at 701 Seventh Avenue. More major purchases are sure to come in the following years and decades as other major projects in neighborhoods get underway. As Hudson Yards slowly but steadily gets closer and closer to becoming the city-within-a-city that it envisions, it’s already drawing major players to its far-west location, looking back into New Jersey over the Hudson River. Although the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle is relatively new, the company plans to eventually relocate to Hudson Yards. The old building, which now houses important Time Warner assets like CNN’s New York headquarters, will be stripped, completely renovated, and redeveloped.

Silverstein recently bought the ground lease for a large Astoria dairy plant site, paving the way for the firm’s debut outer-borough development, The Real Deal reports.

By: David Brobosky

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