Members of the Manocherian family unloaded a Midtown rental tower for $50.1 million, a rare sale for the prominent and long-standing Manhattan landlords.
The 31-story, 181-unit apartment building at 245 East 44th Street, known as Falcon Tower, sold for about $275,000 per unit, records show.
Five LLCs are listed as buyers on the property tax transfer and share an address with Stockdale Capital Partners and Triyar Realty Group, affiliated Los Angeles-based investment firms whose holdings are concentrated in industrial, retail, hospitality and office properties, according to their websites. Neither firm responded to a request for comment.
Built in 1987, the building is fully market-rate, according to tax records. It is a five-minute walk from Grand Central Terminal, and its one-bedroom units rent for around $4,000 a month, according to StreetEasy.
The Manocherians also did not respond to a request for comment on the deal, but the shifting dynamics of Manhattan’s rental market suggest they are selling at a good time.
After breaking records for most of the year, the median asking rent in Manhattan slipped for the second straight month in September, a sign that prices have risen as high as the market can bear and that the coming months could see further declines, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller.
For landlords, a declining rental market means diminishing returns when they sell. For certain buyers, though, New York’s multifamily market still gleams with upside.
Because 245 East 44th Street is an older property, the buyer could renovate the units and raise rents. While Manhattan’s median rent has slipped as lower-income tenants struggle with inflation, the city’s top-tier apartments continue to set records.
Those popping luxury prices signal that renters with ample budgets can bear larger price hikes to come, an opportunity for any investor hoping to rejuvenate an older building. And the end of the 421a property tax break has virtually stopped developers from starting rental projects, foretelling a future supply crunch that pushes up rents.
Led by patriarch Freydun Manocherian, who founded the New York Health & Racquet Club in 1973, the Manocherian family owns dozens of apartment buildings and thousands of units throughout Manhattan through their sister companies, Manocherian Brothers and Pan Am Equities.