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Istithmar Buying Spree Continues with $76M Land Deal

Dubai Investment Firm Acquires Development Site Adjacent to Knickerbocker Hotel
October 25, 2006
Istithmar, the Dubai-based investment firm, continued its shopping spree through Manhattan with another acquisition. Operating under the shell name Istithmar Hotels Knickerbocker LLC, the firm purchased a development site at 136-140 West 42nd Street from American Properties Inc. for $76 million, or approximately $711 per buildable square foot.

The three lots are adjacent to the Knickerbocker Hotel that Istithmar acquired this May for $300 million. Public records indicate that a five-story retail building sits on one of the lots and the remaining two lots were vacant at the time of sale. Istithmar now owns approximately 27,000 square feet of land on the block, with 260 feet of frontage on West 42nd St. and 103 feet of frontage on Broadway.

Outside sources report that a hotel or condominium project is planned on the lots, however the buyer was unavailable for comment. No jobs have been filed with the NYC Department of Buildings at this time.

The deal represents Istithmar’s sixth major acquisition in New York and comes on the heels of its $285 million purchase of the landmark W Hotel Union Square. The firm has paid more than $2 billion for Manhattan real estate already this year.

Buyer and seller representation was not disclosed. See CoStar COMP #NYC-34604-10-0620 for more information on this transaction.
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