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Deals & Dealmakers

99c LLC Enters Manhattan Market with Purchase of An Iconic 80s Design Water Street Building

99c LLC, a leading real estate firm specializing in adaptive reuse development in urban markets, recently entered the Manhattan market with its purchase of 175 Water Street, an iconic 80s structure on the financial district waterfront, for $252 million. The 31-story, former AIG global headquarters exclusively sold by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), comprises
684,500 rentable square feet and is prominently located in Manhattan’s Downtown submarket.

“99c is tremendously excited to deliver a comprehensive re-use plan in a prominent FiDi location. The fabric of the Fox Fowle-designed building is visible from the Brooklyn waterfront and a prominent part of Fidi’s skyline,” said 99c co-founder Carlo Bellini. “When considering how much commercial space is currently vacant and unused in major metropolitan areas around the world, we at 99c are looking for unique and sustainable ways to reinvent such spaces.”

175 Water Street is a prime location to mark 99c’s Manhattan debut given its relative position within the Downtown submarket and convertible, multi-use infrastructure, which includes 12-foot ceilings, efficient 24K square foot floor plates, center-core configuration, and an efficient design. The building’s flexibility also includes an unused ground floor, which is being primed for a reimagined lobby experience along with two usable rooftop terraces with amenities.

JLL’s Capital Markets Investment Sales Advisory team representing the seller was led by Senior Managing Directors Andrew Scandalios and David Giancola, Managing Directors Vickram Jambu and Marion Jones, Senior Director Steven Rutman and Director Alexander Riguardi.

“175 Water St. received a generous amount of investor interest given the nature of the building, which provided a blank canvas to reimagine and reactivate the property as a best-in-class office tower or consider alternative uses,” Scandalios said.

“Downtown Manhattan and particularly the Seaport submarket is going through a transformative period for both office and residential uses,” Jambu added. “Between the interest in this building and the results we achieved through this process, we think this transaction signifies the strengthening of the New York City office market.”

The Manhattan Downtown area is undergoing a commercial revitalization, but the post-COVID era continues to hinder the commercial segment as hybrid and fully remote workplace models retain their popularity. Meanwhile, there has been $30bn in private investments over the past decade within the Manhattan Downtown segment, $10bn committed to improving transit and $1.5bn to transforming Pier 17 and the South Seaport District.

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