Benko confirms purchase of the Chrysler Building «

The Signa-Holding of the domestic investor Rene Benko and a US partner have confirmed the purchase of the world-famous Chrysler Building in New York.

17.26, March 15, 2019


“We are acquiring a legend”, said Jürgen Fenk, member of the Executive Board of the Signa Group, on Friday in Vienna. A common company of Signa and the New York real estate developer RFR Holding have a purchase agreement with the previous owners, the Abu Dhabi Investment Council and with Tishman Speyer, signed.

The purchase of the 319 meter high skyscraper fits perfectly into the Signa concept of acquiring historic buildings in the best inner city locations, it said.

According to various media reports, the purchase price will be a little more than 150 million dollars (around 134 million euros). With real estate assets of more than 14 billion euros, the Signa Group is one of the largest real estate investors in Europe. The Chrysler Building, built in 1930, with its shiny silver top and the stainless steel arches from the Art Deco period underneath, has 77 floors. It is considered to be in need of renovation.

The Empire State Building is New York’s most famous skyscraper. It measures 381 meters to the top.


The tower is unique, not only because it was the tallest building in the world until 1972. Incidentally, the doubling here is due to the reflection on a neighboring facade.


The colored lights and projections with which the building is played at night are also famous. Here in honor of endangered species …


… and in a pretty spectacular way. Although: the tiger was not the most famous cattle on the facade.


Who of course: King Kong. Here he plucks an airplane from the air in the famous 1933 film.


Many consider the Chrysler Building to be the most beautiful building in New York.


The 319 meter high structure by architect William Van Alen doesn’t look bad, even at night.


Rockefeller Plaza: Another of New York’s most famous buildings, not just thanks to the Christmas tree and ice rink at Christmas time.


The address “30 Rockefeller Plaza” not only stands for the television events of the station NBC, such as the “Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. But of course also for the legendary comedy series “30 Rock”.


This is the tallest skyscraper in New York: “One World Trade Center” in south Manhattan. It is 541.3 meters high.


There is a viewing platform and a restaurant on the top floors. The building was completed in 2014.


It was built to replace the twin towers of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attack.


One of New York’s oldest skyscrapers is the Woolworth Building on Broadway. Built from 1910 to 1913 and at least 241 meters high. When it opened, it was considered the eighth wonder of the world.


Not quite that high, but thick: the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. It measures 202 meters. One is almost surprised that Donald Trump did not try to tower above everyone else here too.


The acquisition is still considered a “bargain”: After all, the previous owner, the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, put down $ 800 million for a 90 percent stake in the building in 2008, shortly before the financial crisis. 10 percent remained with the real estate company Tishman Speyer. In 1997, the company paid an estimated $ 210 million to $ 250 million for the entire building, the report goes on to say.

“Developing into one of the premier addresses in Manhattan”

“We are very proud to now own this unique building – together we want to keep the Chrysler Building in the long term and develop it again into one of the top addresses in Manhattan,” said the German co-founder of RFR To Rosen.

Many skyscraper fans still romanticize the 77-story building as one of the most beautiful skyscrapers. In the New York real estate market, the “old stars” served more of a niche. There are more small and medium-sized companies as tenants than large corporations. Because the square meter prices are much cheaper there than in the new buildings.

Conversion to hotel?

The Chrysler Building has relatively small windows, (currently) little space and is partially a listed building. The square meter price is on average only $ 540, in “Hudson Yards”, a completely new district in New York, it is about twice as high, said Ruth Colp-Harber from real estate company Wharton Property Advisors to “Handelsblatt”.

The Austrian Signa group around Benko and the US real estate company under managing director Rosen could completely or partially convert the world-famous skyscraper into a hotel, writes the “Handelsblatt”, citing the Bloomberg news agency.

Built in the late 1920s

The founder of the auto company Chrysler, Walter Chrysler, had the building deliberately built near the Grand Central train station in the late 1920s in order to benefit from the new traffic artery. The Chrysler Building was the headquarters of the automaker for more than 20 years. In 1953 Chrysler’s heirs sold it and the company moved out. There are still hidden references to the auto industry: the gargoyles are modeled on hood ornaments and the arches at the top are intended to remind of the hubcaps of the Plymouth brand, which once belonged to Chrysler.

When it opened in 1930, the Chrysler Building was 319 meters high – including the 56-meter spire – the tallest building in the world for a few months. Then came the Empire State Building, 62 meters higher. Built from around four million bricks, however, Benko’s skyscraper is still considered the tallest brick building in the world.

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