SL Green Realty Corp., RFR Holding LLC and Ian Schrager have sold the North Building, or “Clock Tower,” at 5 Madison Ave. to Africa Israel for $200 million.
SL Green acquired the 41-story, approximately 267,000-square-foot property in 2005, in conjunction with SL Green’s acquisition of the adjacent 1.2-million-square-foot South Tower and more than 400,000 square feet of air rights for additional development. Credit Suisse (USA) Inc. originally acted as co-developer with SL Green for the project. The company subsequently converted its ownership position to a participating preferred equity position when it brought in partners RFR Holdings and Ian Schrager to pursue a possible luxury residential conversion for the North Tower, a project that was in the planning stages when the sale decision was made.
“We’ve always been very excited about the potential of the North Building as a luxury residential property. But given its unique characteristics and the incredibly strong market demand for well-located and well-constructed real estate in Manhattan, we received many attractive offers,” SL Green CEO Mark Holliday said in a statement. In the end, the partnership couldn’t ignore the opportunity to realize a substantial gain. The transaction provides our shareholders with a strong return on investment and allows us to direct resources to other initiatives.”
Originally constructed by MetLife as its headquarters, the Clock Tower is one of Manhattan’s earliest skyscrapers and has had only one prior owner since its inception, according to a press statement.