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Kushner Said to Sell New York Observer Building for $95 Million

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Jared Kushner sold the Manhattan office building that houses his New York Observer newspaper to GreenOak Real Estate LP for $95 million, according to two people with knowledge of the transaction.

The sale was completed on Dec. 28, said the people, who asked not to be named because the deal was private. The building at 321 W. 44th St. near Times Square is about 85 percent occupied, one of the people said.

An entity controlled by the Kushner family bought the building for $85 million in 2007, near the peak of the real estate market. Jared Kushner, the president and chief executive officer of Kushner Cos., the prior year purchased the New York Observer, a weekly newspaper that focuses on the city’s political, media and real estate elite.

The newspaper, one of the largest tenants in 321 W. 44th St., has a five-year lease, with an option to terminate after one year, one of the people familiar with the deal said. Kushner may either buy a new building and house the publication there, or move it into a property his family already owns, the person said.

Matthew Hiltzik, a Kushner spokesman, declined to comment on the sale, which was reported earlier today by the New York Post. Andrew Yoon, chief operating officer of GreenOak, also declined to comment.

GreenOak, the investment firm started by former leaders of Morgan Stanley’s property fund unit, acquired the building with East End Capital, which holds a minority stake. The two firms previously teamed to buy a 15-floor office building at 256 W. 38th St. in New York’s garment district for about $30 million.

GreenOak was founded in 2010 by Sonny Kalsi, Fred Schmidt and John Carrafiell, who ran Wall Street’s largest real estate investing group at Morgan Stanley until the market crashed. GreenOak expects most of its deals to be for office buildings, followed by retail properties and hotels, according to marketing materials. In the U.S., it will concentrate on large coastal cities such as New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

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