Soloviev sells Solow building at 9 West 57th St: Sources
The heir to Sheldon Solow’s real estate empire is negotiating to sell what is arguably modern capitalism’s most prized address: 9 West 57th Street.
Stefan Soloviev is finalizing a deal to sell the prestigious office tower, sources familiar with the talks said The real deal.
A deal for the Plaza District property would likely be New York’s biggest pandemic-era deal, and likely one of the biggest office deals in history. The 50-story, 1.6 million square foot building was last valued in July 2016 at $3.4 billion, or more than $2,000 per square foot, according to CMBS filings with the SEC. .
TRD could not confirm the group of buyers, but two sources pointed to trophy-collecting investor Michael Shvo, who embarked on a commercial property buying spree with the backing of German pension fund BVK and of the private equity group Deutsche Finance.
Representatives for Soloviev had no comment at press time, while Shvo could not be reached.
Developed by Solow in 1974, the building has become as famous for its distinctive sloping facade designed by SOM as for the scrupulous nature of its developer.
Solow is said to have hand-picked companies he deemed suitable for his prized property. That velvet rope gave 9 West 57th Street an air of exclusivity beyond that created by rents of $200 a foot.
Private equity giant KKR was headquartered in the building during its leveraged buyout heyday, when it struck bespoke deals like the RJR Nabisco takeover. The famous shoe company Nine West is named after the building.
Current tenants include Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, Apollo Global Management and perfume company Chanel.
The building sometimes faced high vacancy rates, as Solow preferred to leave the space empty rather than lower rents and reduce its cachet. In the half-century since 9 West opened, newer, shinier buildings have attracted some occupants — KKR has moved to Hudson Yards — but the property retains its appeal.
A real estate investor called it “everyone’s favorite class B building in a class A location”.
Solow died a multi-billionaire in November 2020 at the age of 92 and his son Stefan took over the business. But Soloviev — who has focused on running a cattle and wheat farming business in New Mexico and has bought farms and vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island — has little interest in manage his father’s real estate empire, sources said, and decided to dismantle the portfolio.
Earlier this year, he struck a deal to sell six Upper East Side rental properties with some 1,700 units for $1.8 billion to a partnership between Josh Gotlib’s Black Spruce Management and Meyer’s Orbach Affordable Housing Solutions. Orbach.
Shvo, meanwhile, had a hell of a run. The former luxury residential broker disappeared from the Manhattan real estate scene during the bust and made a comeback in 2013 as a developer of boutique condos. In his latest avatar, he’s become a major commercial real estate investor with a penchant for branded properties, such as the Coca-Cola Building at 711 Fifth Avenue, the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, and the “Big Red” office building. in Chicago.
Office leasing volume in Manhattan jumped in the third quarter as the borough’s vacancy rate fell to its lowest level in 18 months, according to Colliers. Asking rents remain on average around 7% lower than at the start of the pandemic.
But trophy office towers like 9 West 57th Street tend to float above market trends. In 1970, when Solow completed the tower’s five-year assembly, he told the New York Times that “you can only get away with it once.”
“We are in barracuda country,” he said.