Sovereign Partners Acquires Third Ave Tower at 23% Discount

Sovereign Partners has agreed to purchase 780 Third Avenue for $178 million, making it the third acquisition by the Sakhai family in just over one year. Seller Clarion Partners had acquired the approximately 510,000-square-foot tower in 2013 for $230 million, the pending trade representing a nearly 23% drop in the property’s value. Reported details on marketing material indicates that the building which spans the entire Third Avenue blockfront between East 48th and 49th Streets is about 56% leased. In contrast, former owners TIAA-CREF had paid a reported price of $162 million in 1999, which at the time was considered a “near record price for Third Avenue.” According to city records, a $20 million loan encumbers the property, having been provided by Metropolitan Life Insurance in 2013. Other recent acquisitions by Sovereign include the $113 million purchase of Tower 56 at 126 East 56th Street, the forced sale of the 171,571-square-foot building by Pearlmark Real Estate was at a 28% discount of the 2008 price of $158 million; and the $126.5 million purchase of the approximately 206,000-square-foot office portion of 100-104 Fifth Avenue from Clarion Partners, having previously traded for $230 million in 2013.