Japanese firms buy and sell US office assets
In two unrelated office deals, Japanese companies are looking for value in the US property market through the buying and selling of trophy buildings.
Real estate investor David Werner has agreed to buy the midtown Manhattan office building at 150 E 42nd Street, better known as the Mobil Building, for approximately US$900 million from the Geolet family and Hiro Real Estate Co, which owns and operates office assets in New York City as a subsidiary of Takara Gumi Co, which is headquartered in Taito City, Japan.
The 42-storey trophy asset was constructed in 1956 by Harrison & Abramovitz as the headquarters of Exxon Mobil, what was then the Socony Mobil Oil Co. In 1987, when Exxon Mobil relocated to Northern Virginia, it sold the property for US$240 million to Hiro Real Estate.
The nearly 149,000-square-metre stainless steel building occupies the block between Le