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European private equity fund buys downtown Manhattan tower

One of New York's great historic buildings in Downtown Manhattan at 165-167 Williams Street just changed hands in an all-cash transaction.


Originally built in 1907 as an office building in the neoclassical style, the property features tall ceiling heights, large open floor plates and a charming cast-iron structure.


The property is situated right in the heart of New York City's vibrant and fast-growing Financial District. It is located in walking distance to Pace University, the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank and 8 Spruce Street - one of the city's most prominent residential towers designed by Frank Gehry.


With more than 31,000 square feet, 10 stories and a width of 53 feet, 165-167 William Street truly stands out. The large retail space is leased to Downtown Pharmacy, the upper floors were converted to apartments.


"It is a gorgeous building with enormous potential and a very strong retail component", said Thomas Guss, President of New York Residence Inc., who routinely represents international investors in real estate transactions in New York. Guss and his colleague Saul Lalic represented the buyers, one of Europe's largest private equity funds.


The new owners have already begun to upgrade some mechanical elements of the building. Planned work includes a completely new elevator and the construction of a roof deck.


Victor Sozio and Jesse Greshin of Ariel Property Advisors represented the sellers, an investor group led by Eli Tabak from Bluestone Group.


"The sellers had made great progress in repositioning the building" says Guss, "but ultimately could not make it work as a result of a very restrictive financing structure. This transaction goes to show that international investors with access to funds at low financing costs still have enormous opportunities in New York City".


Remarkably and within days, the new owners received unsolicited offers to resell the building but at present have no intention of doing so.

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