24 Jan

Sony is selling off its New York City headquarters on 550 Madison Avenue for a reported $1.1 billion. The 37-story (825,000 sq. ft) building will boost Sony’s operating income by $685 million, and net around $770 million in cash. The divisions working inside the building will continue operations for three-years, according to the agreement reached by Sony Corp. and the buyers of the property, the Chetrit Group.

Sony of America President Nicole Seligman phrased the deal, set to complete this March, as  “…a timely and logical strategic move”, according to a statement released to Bloomberg.

“Regarding our new headquarters, we continue to look at a number of spaces in Manhattan but have not yet made a decision about where to lease.” continued Seligman.

20 bidders were reportedly interested in the building, which netted an “aggressive” price, according to Real Capital Managing Director Dan Fasulo. “It certainly is the most aggressive pricing we’ve seen for a transitional asset since 2007…This is going to be an empty building that needs tens of millions of dollars in capital improvements, and then needs a redevelopment program.”

Joseph Chetrit, head of the Chetrit Group, is described as one of the more mysterious investors in New York real estate. His group also purchased Chicago’s Willis Tower – formerly the Sears Tower – in 2004.

(via GamesIndustry International)