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Deals & Dealmakers

Westbrook makes $80M Chelsea purchase

By Holly Dutton

Walnut Hill Group has sold a Chelsea office building for $15 million more than they paid for it less than two years ago.

The property was purchased by private equity firm Westbrook Partners for $80.775 million, according to public records.

31 West 27th Street
31 West 27th Street

The San Francisco-based Walnut Hill investment company first purchased the 12-story building at 31 West 27th Street in July of 2012 for $65 million from Soho Properties CEO Sharif El-Gamal.

El-Gamal gained notoriety in 2010 when he attempted to build Park51, a planned Islamic cultural center, near the World Trade Center site.

The building, in the booming tech-friendly area of Midtown South, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, was purchased by El-Gamal back in 2009 for $45.7 million.
Studley’s Woody Heller, Will Silverman and Eric Negrin represented Walnut Hill in the transaction.

Westbrook Partners, founded in 1994, is a fully integrated real estate investment management company with offices in New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Palm Beach, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Tokyo.

Back in June of 2013, the firm announced it was selling its six-building Manhattan portfolio, which was expected to bring in $1 billion. Eastdil Secured brokers Douglas Harmon and Adam Spies were tapped to exclusively handle the sales of the properties.

In July of last year, HFZ bought four buildings from Westbrook for $600 million. The portfolio included included the Astor, a 12-story, pre-war building at 235 West 75th Street, the Metro, a 264-unit building at 301 West 53rd Street, the LexLofts at 90 Lexington Avenue in NoMad, and 88 Lexington Avenue. The firm sold 295 Madison Avenue for $213 million to the Eretz Group last August.

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