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90-Year-Old Chrysler Building in NYC to be Sold; Iconic Skyscraper Battles for Tenants

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The art deco skyscraper that has been such an integral part of the New York City skyline for 90 years is now up for sale. The iconic Chrysler Building near Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan has been owned by the Tishman Speyer real estate firm along with an Abu Dhabi investment fund known as Mubadala.

According to a CNN report the two owners have decided to unload the property. They have hired CBRE Group to sell the property, according to Darcy Stacom, chairman of CBRE’s New York City capital markets group. The story of the sale was first broken by the Wall Street Journal.

Brian Lott, a spokesman for Mubadala told CNN, “Clearly, it’s an iconic building with tremendous reputational value for the right buyer.”

The 77-story skyscraper was built between 1928 and 1930 and was the world’s tallest building until the Empire State Building claimed the title in 1931.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Council paid $800 million for a 90 percent stake in the Chrysler Building in 2008, shortly before the financial crisis sent real estate prices plunging. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the planned sale of the building, said estimates for the property’s current value vary widely.

The Chrysler Building was headquarters of the American automaker until 1953, but it was named for and owned by Chrysler chief Walter Chrysler, not the company itself, as was reported by CNN.

Walter Chrysler had set out to build the tallest building in the world, a competition at that time with another Manhattan skyscraper under construction at 40 Wall Street at the south end of Manhattan.

Today, the Chrysler Building is the sixth tallest building in New York City but with plans set for later this year with the opening of a new office edifice on the West side of the city, then the Chrysler building will drop down another notch in terms of tallest building status.

The distinct architecture of the Chrysler Building includes it vaulted windows and the eagle gargoyles near the top. According to the CNN report, the building has been seen in such Hollywood blockbusters as Men in Black 3, Spider-Man, Armageddon, Two Weeks Notice and Independence Day.

In recent years, however such iconic buildings as the Waldorf Astoria hotel were purchased for top dollar. In 2016, the storied hotel was purchased by the Chinese firm known as Anbang Insurance for nearly $2 billion. In 2015, the Willis Tower in Chicago, which was formerly known as Sears Tower was purchased by the Blackstone Group for $1.3 billion.

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