Lehman Brothers’ former Manhattan headquarters is now unmistakably the New York base of an even more discredited (if still solvent) bank. But the bankrupt if lucrative shell of a company still owns a big midtown building—one that it took over two years after it filed for bankruptcy. Now, it’s unloading it for a song.
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. has agreed to sell the Manhattan office tower at 237 Park Ave. to a venture of RXR Realty LLC and Walton Street Capital in what would be one of the largest sales in Manhattan in the past year.
The price is more than $800 million, according to multiple real-estate executives with knowledge of the sale, including about $420 million in debt that would be assumed by the new owners….
The deal comes at a time when Manhattan office building values have been increasing. Still 237 Park’s price tag is well off the $1.2 billion price that was paid for the property in 2007, a sign of how frothy the market got during the boom years.
Lehman back then was the financial backer of Broadway Partners, an active buyer in the years leading up to the bust. Broadway paid top dollar for 237 Park betting rents would rise. But instead, rents fell, and Lehman, which held much of the property’s debt, struck a deal in 2011 to take control of the building from Broadway. Last year, Lehman tapped Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. to market the 1.2 million square foot tower.