Somerset Partners, a New York City-based private real estate investor, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell one of its trophy office properties, 85 Tenth Avenue, to Related Companies, a New York City-based fully integrated real estate development company, for approximately $430 million. The company expects the transaction to close at the beginning of the second quarter 2007. Somerset intends to use the majority of the proceeds to accelerate their growth objectives and further expand their asset portfolio. Somerset principals, Keith Rubenstein and Marshall Allan, headed the transaction, with investment broker Douglas Harmon of Eastdil representing the firm in the sale.
"We recognized this building to be a diamond in the rough when we originally purchased it. Although, at the time of our purchase, the price seemed high to others, we knew that the unique nature of the building, its credit tenants and dynamic location were certain to allow us to realize substantial upside," said Keith Rubenstein, Principal, Somerset Partners.
"This acquisition demonstrates Related's ability to identify and acquire assets that are strategically well positioned in strong markets. As long-term investors, we firmly believe in the growth and vitality of the Chelsea area and the acquisition of 85 Tenth Avenue is just one of the many investments Related expects to make in this vibrant and historic urban area. Just across the street, Related is developing Manhattan's first luxury residential tower along the highly anticipated High Line and the condo apartments are already 95% sold. We are confident that 85 Tenth Avenue will prove to be a significant addition to our already impressive and diverse portfolio," said Stephen M. Ross, Chairman and CEO of Related Companies.
"The tenant quality, stature and landmark quality of the building coupled with the ability to further diversify our assets made acquiring 85 Tenth Avenue an extremely attractive opportunity for Related," said Bruce A. Beal Jr. Executive Vice President of Related Companies.
Purchased in July 2005, 85 Tenth Avenue represented the first office acquisition for Somerset Partners, who followed the purchase with the acquisition of 1801 K Street in Washington, DC for $250 million. In addition to its office portfolio, Somerset has built a $300 million portfolio of more than 3,000 apartments throughout the Southwest and Southeast U.S. over the last 5 years.
Built in 1913, 85 Tenth Avenue, the former Nabisco Factory, has since benefited from nearly $200 million of capital improvements which was invested by previous owners, and is today one of the most technically advanced buildings in the Country. With 12 building generators providing 2 megawatts of redundant (back-up) power each, the building can fully function on its own without public power or water for up to 30 days. The building is currently 100% leased to credit tenants including the U.S. Government, Lehman Brothers, Moet Hennessy and the State of New York. It features efficient 56,000-sq.ft. floor plates, high ceilings (up to 18-feet), 14-ft. window lines and unobstructed city and water views.
85 Tenth Avenue is also the home of two of New York's most renowned restaurateur's latest venues: Chef Tom Colicchio's Craft Steak and Chef Mario Batali's Del Posto.
About Somerset Partners Somerset Partners, LLC, is a private equity firm focused on the preservation and growth of wealth through investment in real estate for its investors and principals. With a focus on long-term ownership and high-quality assets in economically sound markets, Somerset Partners matches its investments with the specific portfolio requirements of its equity partners. Somerset Partners is owned and managed by Keith Rubenstein, Marshall Allan and Philip Welch. For more information visit: www.somersetpartnersllc.com.
About Related Companies Heralded as one of the most prolific and visionary developers in the country, Related was formed over thirty-five years ago. Today Related is considered the most prominent privately owned real estate development firm in the United States, headquartered in New York City with divisions in development, acquisitions, property management, marketing and sales. In 2004, Related completed the development of New York City's newest landmark, Time Warner Center. Related has offices and major developments in Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston and boasts a team of more than 2,000 professionals. To date, Related has real estate assets worth over $15 billion with another $9 billion currently in development. In Los Angeles, Related is expanding its portfolio with The Century, a super-luxury condominium in Century City and The Grand Avenue development, situated directly across from the beloved Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Hall, which will include luxury residences, retail, notable restaurants, a world class hotel. This past year, Related acquired Equinox(R) Fitness Clubs, further expanding the company's capabilities into the health and fitness arena and enhancing the value of its properties by incorporating an exclusive, branded amenity into the lifestyle offering. The company is also the largest shareholder in CharterMac, the largest financier of affordable housing in the country. For more information about Related Companies please visit www.related.com.