MTA Looking To Get $150M For 347 Madison

Once again, the MTA is looking to unload one of their real estate holdings to help boost the bottom line. Last month, reports started to surface that the agency was looking to unload the 347 Madison Ave property & the 2 adjoining ones at 341 & 345 respectively. Fast forward to yesterday where the New York Times note that the agency is looking to get up to $150M for the property. Charles V Bagli has more:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has consolidated departments and reduced its payroll under severe financial pressure, now plans to sell its headquarters and two adjoining buildings on Madison Avenue in a deal that it says could reap more than $150 million.

Transportation officials are hoping that a developer will pay top dollar for the properties, three 20-story office buildings that form the eastern blockfront between 44th and 45th Streets. A buyer could demolish the structures and erect a modern skyscraper, and could also buy unused development rights over Grand Central Terminal and build an even taller tower than might otherwise be allowed.

The three buildings might look bland and unappealing, but the allure is their location in a prime office district next to Grand Central, a workday entry point for executives coming from New York’s northern suburbs. The Yale Club is on the same square block.

While the buildings — 341, 345 and 347 Madison Avenue — may not be of architectural note, the authority’s headquarters and its hearing rooms have been the site of many a raucous demonstration, by employees, transit riders opposed to fare increases and cuts in service, or opponents of development on authority properties. It bought 347 Madison in 1979 for $11.9 million and 341 and 345 Madison in 1991 for $12.25 million and $23.75 million respectively.

The transportation authority considered selling the buildings before, in 1998 and in 2005, but decided against it each time. “I’d take a look,” the developer Douglas Durst said Tuesday, “for the third time.”

Click here for the complete report.

I have a problem with the agency’s plans to sell these properties. My issue is not about them getting rid of the properties themselves. They clearly need to continue their trend of consolidating space & saving money. However they have a history of rushing to make deals of this nature & in turn sell them severely below market value. Do I really need to get into the Atlantic Yards fiasco?

These properties are not exactly the most appealing inside however thefact they are prime pieces of real estate can not be denied. Even in the current market conditions, these are 3 valuable chess pieces in the game of Manhattan real estate as you know what they say, location, location, location!

I sincerely hope the MTA does not sell these properties at below market value as it will be a huge mistake. If they have to hold on to them for a bit longer to achieve greater value, then that is exactly what they should do. Hopefully they learned something from the Atlantic Yards fiasco unless cutting sweetheart deals for friends is on their agenda again which would be a crying shame.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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