Home » , , » $100 a square foot in Manhattan? Is that true, and, if so, is that the new market?

$100 a square foot in Manhattan? Is that true, and, if so, is that the new market?

A couple of years ago, while trying to explain that my little local market was cheap, I told a friend that a large office building, 100% leased to a single credit tenant, and on a very good corner if redevelopment was necessary, sold for $100 a square foot. By contrast, I was just involved in a deal with a local medical office building costing and worth twice that.

CPN is reporting:
With rumors circulating of a sale price around $100 per square foot, the sale of the 66-story American International Group headquarters in Lower Manhattan likely set the bar for the biggest sale in the area market thus far in 2009.

Youngwoo & Associates (YWA), a New York-based investment and development firm, together with Kumho Investment Bank (Kumho), entered into an agreement to acquire the AIG building, 70 Pine Street (pictured), and an adjacent office building, 72 Wall Street. The two buildings will total 1.4 million rentable square feet in the heart of Manhattan's Financial District.
Okay. Let's assume the rumors are true. Now, this asset will require significant, if not complete re-leasing, which depresses the value since your income is, well, zero. I do not know the lower Manhattan market well anymore. But $100/sf? That's fire sale pricing in my humble opinion. Does it make a market? Beats me.

Another claim in the story is actually more interesting to me; namely, that there is a little thawing in the credit markets, especially in deals involving less than $100 million of $50 million. (I have always called these deals my sweet spot. I never liked big portfolio transactions and avoided them like the plague back in the day.) You mortgage guys out there would have to tell me about that and whether it is true.

UPDATE: Let's go to the other coast, where the WSJ is reporting the sale of a new office building in Irvine, California owned by Maguire Properties at a 40% discount to construction costs.