January 31, 2020
Although it’s generally regarded as the monarch of U.S. office markets, New York City’s crown slipped in 2019. The year’s priciest deal occurred not in Manhattan but in Silicon Valley, and the makeup of the top 50 office sales showed increasing investor willingness to look outside the Big Apple, according to CommercialCafé.
Manhattan’s high water mark for pricing slipped below the $1-billion mark for the first time since 2016. The same asset—the historic Coca-Cola Building at 711 Fifth Ave.—made the top 10 twice.
In third place was Wafra Capital Partners’ $909-million acquisition of the Coca-Cola Building from the Coca-Cola Company in August. Ranked second for 2019 office transactions was Wafra’s sale of the property a month later to a group led by residential developer SHVO for $955 million.
The dollar volume of New York City’s share of the top 50 deals in 2019 fell by $4.6 billion from the year prior, a 41% year-over-year drop, CommercialCafé reported. That’s due partly to lower values on the Manhattan (and, in one case, Long Island City) properties that traded, and partly to the fact that there were fewer of them. New York City deals comprised more than one-third of the top 50 in 2018, but less than one-quarter of the roster in 2019.
Counting transactions in San Francisco, Oakland and Silicon Valley together, the Bay Area was tied with New York for the number of properties in 2019’s top 50. That includes the year’s biggest office deal: Google’s $1-billion acquisition of the former Yahoo! campus in Sunnyvale, CA.
In third place for the number of top 50 office sales was another tech-centric metro area: Seattle, where eight high-priced deals occurred in either the Emerald City itself or the suburban market of Bellevue, WA.
Outside of those three regions, the only other markets with multiple entries on the top 50 roster were Boston and Los Angeles, with three apiece, and Houston with two. Dallas, San Diego, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Minneapolis each were represented with a single 2019 transaction.
Pictured: The Coca-Cola Building.
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