Even by New York standards, this was an impressive flip. Tishman Speyer, which bought the soon-to-be-old New York Times HQ for $175 million in late 2004, has sold it for $525 million: triple the price after just two and a half years. So it now seems that if the Sulzbergers had held on to the building just a bit longer instead of unloading it to Tishman Speyer, they could have built themselves two trophy skyscrapers nearby. Or at least paid off Hassan Elmasry.
The sale also announces the arrival of a major international real-estate player with a properly global, if somewhat hilarious, name: The purchaser is a concern called Africa Israel USA. The Israel-based company, which went in on the Apthorp purchase earlier this year, is promising $170 million worth of renovations once the ink-stained wretches finally move out. The first job will probably be to refurbish the paper's disused loading bays into a big-box retail space. But, beyond just that, the whole building could use a major spruce-up, at least according to the Times article on the transaction. Um, don't you think you're filing that please-clean-the-office complaint a little late, Glenn Collins?