NYC's iconic Chrysler Building to be sold for US$150M: report

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A full moon rises over the Chrysler Building in Manhattan, New York, March 19, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

New York City's iconic skyscraper the Chrysler Building is set to be sold at a massive discount, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The owners of the building have reached a deal to sell it for "a little more than 150 million U.S. dollars," the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The building was put up for sale in January. The buyers behind the deal are the New York real-estate firm RFR Holding LLC and the Austrian real-estate firm Signa Holding GmbH, according to the Journal.

The Chrysler Building is currently owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council and the real estate investment firm Tishman Speyer.

The Abu Dhabi government fund paid 800 million dollars for a 90-percent stake in 2008, shortly before the devastating financial crisis that crippled the real estate market. Meanwhile, Tishman Speyer, which bought the building in the 1990s, retained a 10-percent stake.

However, the building met a number of financial challenges that enabled the buyers to acquire it at a massive 81-percent discount.

According to the Journal, the building's owners don't own the ground beneath it and have to pay expensive rent.

The annual ground-lease rent jumped from 7.75 million dollars to 32.5 million dollars in 2018 and will go up to 41 million dollars in 2028, the Journal said.

The building also has about 400,000 square feet (37,161 square meters) of space that is either vacant or will become so in the coming years, the Journal added.

As an essential part of the city's skyline with a delicate Art Deco spire, the Chrysler Building was the tallest in the world when it was completed in 1930 and was surpassed only 11 months later by the Empire State Building just blocks away.

The building was named after the Chrysler Corporation's founder Walter Chrysler and housed the headquarters of the company until the mid-1950s.

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