Biggest U.S. Office Deal Ever? Real Estate Heir Reportedly Selling Father’s Crown Jewel

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9 West 57th St. in Manhattan

Stefan Soloviev is reportedly close to a deal to sell the famed Solow Building his father developed on 57th Street, which could be one of the priciest office trades in history if it goes through.

A deal is being finalized to sell the building, but a buyer hasn’t been confirmed, The Real Deal reports, citing anonymous sources. The late Sheldon Solow developed the sloped glass-facade building at 9 West 57th St. in the 1970s, and it has remained a sought-after address. Tenants include private equity companies Apollo Global Management and Chanel, and the shoe brand Nine West— which is named for the building.

It was last appraised at $3.4B in 2016, per TRD, putting the 1.6M SF building at more than $2K per SF. If the deal closes, it would likely set a pandemic-era record, and perhaps be the most expensive office trade in the city’s history. The GM Building still holds that record for when Harry Macklowe sold it to a group led by Boston Properties for $2.9B in early 2008. 

Michael Shvo, an office investor backed by German pension funds, is among the potential buyers circling 9 West 57th, TRD reported. Neither Shvo nor Stefan Soloviev commented to the publication.

Solow formed Solow Building Co. in 1995 and died in 2020 from lymphoma at age 92. His net worth was pegged at $4.4B, per Forbes, and he had amassed approximately 3.8M SF in real estate over his 50 years. His son Soloviev, who uses the family’s pre-Ellis Island name, announced the formation of his own company in April last year called the Soloviev Group.

That company features real estate and development divisions, as well as hospitality, transportation and railroad, agriculture and ranching divisions, per a release at the time. Soloviev reportedly has little interest in his father’s portfolio, and is working to break it up.

This summer, he agreed to a deal to sell six of the residential buildings that were developed by his father to Black Spruce Management and Orbach Affordable Housing Solutions for $1.8B.

The property at 9 West 57th St. has lost tenants over the years — it was long the headquarters of KKR, which left for 30 Hudson Yards — and Solow opted to leave it empty rather than lower its rents or allure. It has fetched rents north of $200 per SF, according to TRD.

Manhattan’s office market had a bounce-back third quarter, with activity returning to pre-pandemic levels. The largest deals are being struck in the city’s newest towers, leaving doubts about the future of New York City’s vast supply of vintage buildings, like 9 West 57th.