2008-068

The Carlyle Group and Crown Acquisitions Acquire Controlling Interest in Retail Portion of 666 Fifth Avenue for $525 Million; Largest Retail Real Estate Transaction in NYC in 2008; New Abercrombie & Fitch Flagship to Anchor Northern Corner

New York – Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group and Stanley Chera’s Crown Acquisitions today announced that they completed the acquisition of a controlling interest in the retail portion of 666 Fifth Avenue from the building’s owner, Kushner Companies, for $525 million. Located in one of the most prestigious retail corridors in the U.S., this 90,000 square foot retail property is ideally positioned on Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets among luxury retailers and celebrated office towers. This property is one of a few to offer 200 feet of uninterrupted retail frontage on Fifth Avenue.


“This is a landmark building in Manhattan’s prime retail shopping district,” said Robert G. Stuckey, Head of Carlyle’s U.S. Real Estate Team. He added, “Locations with high national and international foot traffic such as Manhattan’s Gold Coast present unparalleled exposure and brand placement to their retail tenants. We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with Crown Acquisitions on this exciting investment, and we look forward to benefiting from their experience and expertise in the retail sector. We are also grateful to Kushner Companies. In addition, we thank our lenders, who recognize this unique opportunity to acquire a prominent retail space in a trophy location.”


Prior to closing, in a transaction arranged by Crown Acquisitions, Abercrombie & Fitch leased 20,000 square feet of newly available space at 666 Fifth Avenue, to join existing retailers the NBA Store and Hickey Freeman.


“We are pleased to bring in great partners in the Carlyle Group and Stanley Chera, and look forward to working together to create further value in this unique retail box,” said Jared Kushner, President of the Kushner Companies.


Carlton Advisory Services arranged the venture between Carlyle, Crown and Kushman as well as the lending syndicate, which included Barclays and SL Green. Carlton has brokered over $20 billion in deals the last several years, including the equity recap on the General Motors building three years ago, the Bank of America Tower acquisition and subsequent recapitalization in San Francisco, the Sears Tower recapitalization and the Cababie family’s $1.5 billion acquisition of the Arden portfolio last year.


The joint venture was represented by counsel, Simpson Thacher and Bartlett LLP and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.


Carlyle’s investment in this property comes from Carlyle Realty Partners V (CRP V), a $3 billion opportunistic real estate investment fund that invests in office, hotel, industrial, retail, residential and senior living sectors. Carlyle Realty has offices located in Washington, DC; New York City; Denver; and Los Angeles.


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Crown Acquisitions
Crown Acquisitions, founded by Stanley Chera, has an ownership interest in more than 15 million square feet of retail and office property throughout North America. With assets in major cities including New York, Chicago, Toronto, Philadelphia, Boston and Miami, Crown Acquisitions is recognized for its ability to optimize value through hands-on asset management and a keen focus on improving the retail components of each property. An investor, owner, operator and developer, Crown Acquisitions’ holdings include interests in more than 50 properties, such as World Trade Center towers 2, 3 and 4, Herald Center, 551 Fifth Avenue, 600 Broadway, 717 Fifth Avenue and 598 Madison Avenue in New York; 645 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, IL; and the Miami Merchant’s Mart in Miami, FL.


Kushner Companies
Kushner Companies is a diversified private real estate organization involved in the ownership, development, redevelopment, and management of office, residential, retail, industrial and hotel properties throughout the county. Headquartered in New York City, with offices in New Jersey, its extensive real estate portfolio includes such iconic Manhattan office buildings as 666 Fifth Avenue and the Puck Building in Soho as well as the million square foot headquarters building of AT&T’s Midwest Region in Chicago. In addition to owning thousands of garden apartments while investing in a wide range of properties throughout the Tri-State region, Kushner Companies is also a major owner of industrial buildings and is co-owner of the 1.5 million square foot Monmouth Mall in New Jersey.


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