By Daniel Geiger
Aby Rosen’s 90 Fifth Avenue, a roughly 140,000 s/f office building a block west of Union Square, is for sale again.
A team from Jones Lang LaSalle led by Richard Baxter, an investment sales specialist at the brokerage, has been hired to represent the property, according to sources.
Baxter had worked on the listing last summer, but Rosen eventually pulled the property when he couldn’t secure offers in the range of $800 or more per s/f, a then-exorbitant price in a market that was just beginning to recover from the downturn.
The sales market has continued to rebound for quality assets that are well located and leased. Almost all of 90 Fifth Avenue is leased to the financial publishing company Forbes Inc. The company has moved to sublease its entire space. A team from the real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield has already disposed of floors 8, 9, and 10 for Forbes and is marketing the remainder of its space, 3-7 and the 11th floor. Forbes’s lease for the space runs until 2020 sources say.
During the downturn, a source who was familiar with efforts to sell 90 Fifth in the past, said that potential buyers of the property were concerned with the way the building’s fiscal health was tied to a single tenant who was so clearly seeking to sever its occupancy.
Shifting dynamics in the market have since made the building appear far less vulnerable. In recent months, vacancy has begun to seem like less of a liability as excess space in the market has been filled and demand for offices has risen among tenants. 90 Fifth could appear as a more compelling investment, offering buyers both the option of keeping Forbes in place and collecting the building’s steady cash flow or cutting a deal to possibly replace the company with another, high paying user. It is also possible to convert the building into a residential property.