Thursday, March 23, 2023

ViacomCBS Sells Black Rock Building in New York to Harbor Group for $760 Million

Harbor Group International, a privately owned real estate investment and management firm, announced Monday it has entered an agreement with ViacomCBS to purchase the CBS Building in New York City for $760 million.

Commonly referred to as Black Rock for its gray granite architecture and dark tinted windows, the 38-story office tower is located at 51 West 52nd Street in midtown Manhattan.

ViacomCBS will lease back its space on a short-term basis, and HGI plans to implement a significant capital program to reposition the property in support of a long-term leasing plan.

“The agreement to acquire the CBS Building is further proof of HGI’s ability to identify and successfully transact for unique investment opportunities in an increasingly competitive market,” said Richard Litton, president of HGI. “With its prime location, Class A features and strong roster of tenants, HGI is positioned to acquire one of New York City’s few iconic assets. We look forward to activating our strategic business plan for this asset at a transformational time for New York City’s office market.”

The building’s lobby, cafeteria and other tenant amenities will be updated, and the transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.

“This agreement follows the previously announced strategic review of non-core assets that we completed shortly after our merger,” said Naveen Chopra, EVP and chief financial officer at ViacomCBS. “The use of proceeds from this transaction will remain consistent with our previously discussed capital allocation strategy, allowing us further financial flexibility to invest in our strategic growth priorities, including streaming.”

The CBS Building was completed in 1965 and served as CBS’ New York headquarters. The 491-foot skyscraper, designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen, is adjacent to Rockefeller Center and features views of Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art and the Midtown skyline.

HGI owns 24 West 40th Street in Midtown on Bryant Park and 55 Broadway in the Financial District. Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan of CBRE are acting as exclusive agents for ViacomCBS in the transaction.


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