By Roland Li
TIAA-CREF, a major New York-based pension fund manager and institutional investor, has purchased control of the land beneath 425 Park Avenue for $315 million, according to city records.
The seller was the Goelet family, which rose to become a major landowner in the early 19th century.
“TIAA-CREF continually seeks to improve the quality of its portfolio, including through carefully identified acquisitions,” said a spokeswoman for the group.
Officials at Goelet weren’t immediately available to comment.
The deal follows TIAA-CREF’s purchase last week of the Corner, a luxury rental building at 200 West 72nd Street, for $209 million.
However, at 425 Park, the large fund will only have ownership of the land, barring further deals, meaning they will collect rent from a long-term ground lease of the site.
David Levinson and Robert Lapidus’ L&L Holdings is set to take control of the ground lease in 2015 from another company, after purchasing the lease in 2006. L&L will have the option of demolishing the 567,330 s/f building and developing the site, which spans an entire city block between 55th and 56th Street. The leases of existing tenants of the 31-story building are also set to expire in 2015.