In a major downtown acquisition, Fosun International Limited, a subsidiary of Fosun International, has signed an agreement of sale and purchase with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to acquire One Chase Manhattan Plaza for $725 million.
The Shanghai-based investment group reportedly was one of a half dozen bidders vying for the property.
The 60-story, 2.2-million-square foot landmark skyscraper stands between Pine, Liberty, Nassau and Williams streets, across from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It was built in concert by Chase Manhattan Bank and David Rockefeller in 1961. Once the headquarters of Chase Manhattan Bank in the Financial District, the class-A building has a 2.5-acre plaza and five lower level floors, Fosun said in a release.
The acquisition is the latest high-profile investment by a Chinese business in the country this year, according to Forbes.com.
Fosun was represented by a real estate team led by DLA Piper’s Andrew Levy, senior counsel in New York, and Stephen Cowan, managing partner in the firm’s San Francisco office. Paul Chen, a partner in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and private equity practice groups advised Fosun on corporate matters. He is based in the firm’s East Palo Alto, Calif., and New York City offices. In addition, Lillian Duan, senior associate at DLA Piper’s Shanghai office led the real estate effort in China on behalf of Fosun.
A team from Proskauer Rose represented JPMorgan Chase. Partner Ronald Sernau led the team that included Craig Masheb, senior counsel; Audrey Bender, special real estate counsel; and Paul Polking, associate, and D. Eric Remensperger, partner and head of the real estate group in Los Angeles.
As part of the agreement, “JPMorgan Chase Bank will remain as an important tenant in the building,” Fosun said.
The bank will keep a large branch office at the base of the tower and will retain some office space but is expected to move about 4,000 employees to other locations.
Within the next 12 months, vacancy rate at One Chase Manhattan Plaza will be about 70 percent.
Chase pledged in a statement that it will “continue to maintain a strong presence downtown and throughout New York City.”
According to news reports, Fosum wants to keep its acquisition as an office building.
Fosun chairman, billionaire Guo Guangchang, who came from humble means, is now known as the “Warren Buffet of China,” according to ShanghaiDaily.com. He founded Guangxin Technology Development Co. in 1992 which later became Fosun Group, China’s largest private investment company and the parent company of Fosun International. Fosun International went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007, according to its website.
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and Hawkins, Delafield & Wood are among the tenants at One Chase Manhattan Plaza.
Darcy Stacom and William Shananhan, vice chairman at CBRE, marketed the building for JPMorgan Chase.
Marking one of the largest lease renewals in lower Manhattan this year, Hughes Hubbard & Reed has decided to stay at the Rudin Family’s One Battery Park Plaza.
“The firm has always been downtown and has thrived here,” Candace Beinecke, chair of Hughes Hubbard, said in an email.
Hughes Hubbard’s New York City office has been based in lower Manhattan since 1937 and has been at One Battery Park Plaza since 1999. The global law firm leases more than 226,400 square feet, covering the 10th through 18th floors and portions of the seventh floor and basement. The term of the current renewal is 20 years.
“The area is hot,” Beinecke said. The firm explored all options but was “delighted” to renew downtown. “The views of the New York Harbor are unmatched,” she added.
The 36-story, 875,000-square-foot Battery Park building, also known as 21 State St. covers a full block surrounded by State, Pearl, Whitehall and Bridge streets.
Hughes Hubbard was represented in-house by partner Samuel Sultanik along with associate Jillian Kane.
Pamela Leibow, a partner at Goldfard & Fleece, along with associate Britta Thornquist represented Rudin Management Company Inc., which manages the interests of the Rudin Family and its real estate portfolio.
The average rental rate for a class-A building in the neighborhood of One Battery Park Plaza is about $54 per square foot, according to Studley’s October report.
The location is an “excellent fit” in proximity to transit routes for staff and clients, Beinecke said, and the building has state-of-the-art technology.
“This transaction reaffirms the strength of the downtown market as well as Hughes Hubbard’s and the Rudin Family’s commitment to downtown New York,” William Rudin, co-vice chairman and CEO of Rudin Management, said in a release.
Hughes Hubbard, which was founded in 1888 and is celebrating 125 years, was founded by judge and statesman Charles Evans Hughes, who graduated from Columbia Law School in 1884. He served as both governor of New York and chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Hughes Hubbard has 400 attorneys, with more than 200 based in New York City. The firm also has offices in seven other cities, including Washington, D.C., Paris and Tokyo.
According to Beinecke, Hughes Hubbard is handling the “largest and eighth largest bankruptcies in history.” Other significant matters the firm is working on include product liability, commercial litigation, M&A and international arbitration and it has also brought on lateral attorneys for a number of its growing practices. The firm’s “Latin America practice is also booming as is the whole of our financial institutions group,” she added.
Some of the other law firms on the tenant roster at One Battery Park Plaza include Seward & Kissel; Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass; Jones Hirsch Conners Miller & Bull, and The Chartwell Law Offices.
Rudin’s real estate portfolio consists of 16 buildings with about 10 million square feet of space and 20 apartment buildings with residential space of more than 4 million square feet.
Gerard Cruse, Hughes Hubbard’s chief operating officer, handled the lease on behalf of the firm. In addition, a team from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank assisted the tenant: Neil Goldmacher and Mark Weiss, vice chairmen, and Chris Mongeluzo, executive managing director.
Thomas Keating, senior vice president and director of commercial leasing at Rudin, handled the lease for the landlord.
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