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Taconic Acquires Historic Movielab Bldg in West 50s Neighborhood

Significant Renovations to Facade, Interior and Iconic Crown to Restore Building's Art Deco Splendor
October 22, 2012
Taconic Investment Partners LLC has acquired the former Warner Brothers "Movielab" Building at 619 W. 54th St. in New York City for $112 million, or about $343 per square foot, from KBS Realty Advisors.

The 10-story, 326,863-square-foot creative office building was constructed in 1930 as a film editing and processing facility. Today the building is nearly 92 percent occupied by tenants in a range of industries including media, advertising, fashion, medical services, and technology. The property is located in Manhattan's Columbus Circle, between 11th and 12th Avenues.

The buyers have plans to significantly upgrade the Art Deco property, located in the previously oft-overlooked West 50s area of the city. An award-winning team including Cook + Fox Architects and Aspen-based lighting designer Robert Singer will restore the facade, refine the ground-floor retail space, upgrade the technology infrastructure, and re-envision the building's crown with unique accent lighting.

"This neighborhood is one of the most quickly-growing in Manhattan with a tremendous value proposition," says Peter Febo, head of asset management at Taconic Investment Partners. "The building has a storied background and great existing tenant base, which, combined with our signature hands-on service and seamless management and upgrades, will soon prove to be one of the most desirable properties in the area."

Taconic has a well-known track record in Midtown South as an engaged and committed owner/operator, having acquired, redeveloped and repositioned more than 12 million square feet of commercial space and more than 3,000 housing units. Previous projects in New York include the notable 111 8th Ave. now home to the New York offices of Google, Inc., Taconic's 401 W. 14th St. location for Apple, and the ongoing co-development of 837 Washington and 71 Laight St. The firm hopes to carry this reputation west with this new project at 619 W. 54th, handpicked to showcase its scope of capabilities and creativity.

Jonathan Caplan, Richard Baxter, Scott Latham, Yoron Cohen, David Boyd and Anthony Ledesma with Jones Lang LaSalle represented the seller. The buyer was represented in-house, but has retained Jones Lang LaSalle's Mitchell Konsker, Matthew Astrachan and Alexis Tener to handle leasing at the property.

Please see CoStar COMPS #2579123 for additional information on this transaction.

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