01/18/2012

Revamped Office Building Shopped in SoHo

A recently renovated office building on the market in Manhattan’s SoHo district could attract bids as high as $130 million — more than twice what it sold for five years ago.

The 154,000-square-foot property, at 148 Lafayette Street, is 95% leased. At the estimated $844/sf value, a buyer’s initial annual yield would be about 6%. Eastdil Secured has the listing.

A partnership led by Property Group Partners — which was known as Louis Dreyfus Property until a management buyout last month — bought the building in 2007 for $59 million, or $457/sf, and later invested more than $21 million in renovations.

The previous owner, a group led by AREA Property and J.P. Morgan Asset Management, had refurbished the ground-floor retail space and was planning to convert the 11 upper floors to residential condominiums, but decided to sell instead.

Louis Dreyfus partnered with Bruce Toll, co-founder of homebuilder Toll Brothers of Horsham, Pa., on the transaction. They gutted the upper floors of the nearly century-old building and converted them into modern office lofts, including a penthouse.

Office leases have a weighted average expiration date of 2020, with contractual rent increases that would boost income. Tenants include Tower Research Capital, architecture firm Callison and luxury retailer Dolce & Gabbana — which also moved its showroom space to the building in 2008, from its previous location at 660 Madison Avenue. “For a tenant to move their showroom space from 660 Madison speaks to the area,” one market player said. Other tenants in the 13,500 sf of retail space include a clothier that takes its name from the address — Lafayette 148.

The property, at the northwest corner of Lafayette and Howard Streets, was built in 1913 and formerly known as the Bradstreet Building. The renovations earned it LEED Gold energy-efficiency certification in 2010.

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