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New York’s Chrysler Building Sells for Much Less Than It Was Purchased for a Decade Ago

by admin on March 12, 2019
New York’s Chrysler Building Sells for Much Less Than It Was Purchased for a Decade Ago
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When New York’s Chrysler Building was completed in 1930, it made headlines as the world’s tallest skyscraper. Today, nearly 90 years later, the iconic Art Deco building is making news for a different reason. It was announced this week that the William Van Alen–designed building has sold for $150 million, a fraction of what the building was purchased for in 2008. A decade ago, despite one of the biggest world financial crises in history, the government of Abu Dhabi bought a 90 percent stake in the Chrysler Building for a whopping $800 million. They must have believed that the 77-story tower, with its stainless steel crown and perched gargoyles, would be worth much more in a decade’s time. Evidently that wasn’t the case. [AD]

man walks through a lobby
A look at the interior of the Chrysler Building lobby, which features African marble and Art Deco motifs.
Photo: Getty Images

The new owners of the building will be the Austrian property developers Signa Holding, as well as the New York firm RFR Holding. While it’s open to interpretation why the price of the property dropped so significantly (CBRE, the commercial real estate firm who brokered the deal, refused to comment on the transaction), there is speculation over a variety of reasons. First, the Chrysler Building was maintaining only an 80 percent occupancy rate, which is below the city average for commercial skyscrapers. Also, as recently as this January, Amazon was in the process of finalizing a deal to lease 10,000 square feet of office space in the building. Ultimately, as their high-profile deal to build their HQ2 in Long Island City fell apart, so did their Chrysler Building deal. Finally, and perhaps the most stinging financial burden on the previous owners, Cooper Union owns the land on which the Chrysler Building sits; in an effort to remedy their own financial problems, Cooper Union raised the annual rent from $7.75 million in 2018 to $32.5 million in 2019 (with a projected increase to $41 million by 2028). [AD]




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