(Bloomberg) — General Growth Properties Inc. agreed to buy the Crown Building on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue in partnership with New York landlord Jeffrey Sutton to build its presence in the world’s most-expensive retail district, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said.
The partners agreed to pay about $1.75 billion for the 25-story tower at 730 Fifth Ave., at the southwest corner of 57th Street, one of the people said. Both people asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private.
The building’s retail tenants include jewelers Bulgari SpA and K. Mikimoto & Co. Upper Fifth Avenue has the highest average retail rents in the world, at $3,500 a square foot, according to a study by Cushman & Wakefield Inc. released last month.
Chicago-based General Growth, the second-biggest U.S. mall owner, has been expanding into urban markets. Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Mathrani in July said urban storefronts “offer very compelling opportunities to create shareholder value.”
Kevin Berry, a General Growth spokesman, said in an e-mail that the company had no comment on the sale, which was reported earlier by the New York Post. Karolin Bissada, a spokeswoman for seller Spitzer Enterprises, said she had no comment.
Spitzer Enterprises, whose director is former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, co-owns the property with the Winter family. A call to the family’s office wasn’t immediately returned. Nor was a call to Wharton Properties, Sutton’s New York-based firm.
Brokers Douglas Harmon and Adam Spies of Eastdil Secured LLC represented the sellers. A call to Eastdil spokeswoman Martha Wallau wasn’t immediately returned.