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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

Harry Macklowe, the developer whose firm's implosion came to epitomize the real estate crisis, has entered his third deal in eight months, signing a contract earlier this week to buy the pre-war apartment building at 737 Park Avenue, sources said, according to article today at crainsnewyork.com by Theresa Agovino and Amanda Fung.

The developer, along with an equity partner, is expected to pay $250 million to $255 million for the highly-coveted property on the northeast corner of East 71st Street, the article said, adding that "Mr. Macklowe plans to convert the units into condominiums, sources said. The identity of the equity partner could not be immediately determined."

"Sources said numerous bidders competed to win the 108-unit property, which is seen as one of the few pre-war condo conversion opportunities left on the storied boulevard. Currently 70% of its apartments are market-rate and 30% are rent stabilized," the article continued.

"The deal follows reports last month that Mr. Macklowe is buying another pre-war rental building in the neighborhood - a property at 150 E. 72nd St., off of Lexington Avenue - for $70 million. He also plans on converting that property to a condo, sources said," the article noted.

More recently, the developer, along with partner Prudential Douglas Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber, snapped up a defaulted loan on 953-961 First Ave., between East 52nd and East 53rd streets, the article added.

"After losing almost his entire real estate empire in a spectacularly bad real estate bet four years ago, Mr. Macklowe has been on a tear. In January 2010, he teamed up with Los Angeles-based CIM Group to pay off to investors a $510 million loan on the former site of the Drake Hotel at East 57th Street and Park Avenue, published reports said. Back in 2006, Mr. Macklowe bought the hotel and subsequently demolished it. Deutsche Bank started to foreclose on the property in 2009. It's unclear how much, if any, equity Mr. Macklowe retains in the project, but published reports say Mr. Macklowe and CIM are moving forward to build a new skyscraper on the site," the article said.
Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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