9-11 #2: Goldman Sachs (did WTC equity) buys another symbolic 110 fl. tower, Sears/Chicago
The buyers, the source said, are Lloyd Goldman, Joseph Cayre and Jeffrey Feil. They are New York investors who held the lease on the World Trade Center. Goldman and Cayre joined with Larry Silverstein in buying the trade center lease for $3.2 billion months before the twin towers were destroyed in attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. All are prominent but secretive Manhattan landlords.
The Sears Tower, which is 88 percent occupied, has struggled with sagging demand for office space and tenants' lack of enthusiasm for high-profile buildings after the terror attacks of 2001. So why buy it then?
Many Chicago brokers were astonished by the swiftness of the sale, which occurred without MetLife taking competing bids.
Goldman Sachs & Co. is a leading tenant in Sears Tower, with a lease until 2011, BUT IT PLANS TO MOVE TO ANOTHER BUILDING. Trizec [administrators] said it doesn't know if the new owners will retain its services.
WATCH FOR ADDED SPECIAL INSURANCE FOR TERRORISM...
WATCH FOR SECURITY DETAIL CHANGES...
WATCH ASBESTOS ISSUE...
Police investigated and ARRESTED people slowly filming up and down the Sears Tower IMMEDIATELY AFTER 9-11. The people doing so were found to be carrying multiple,contradictory passports and identity cards.
MetLife said the sale should close by the end of June. Like WTCs, Sears Tower has had OR currently has an asbestos problem - (I have not been able to find out if this has been resolved to date). Present Sears Tower security is done by Kroll. Kroll restructured Enron after its bankrupcy.
June or July 2001: At least two witnesses from the Hamburg university where Atta had studied later claim Atta, Marwan Alshehhi and an unknown third person are seen in the ground-floor workshops of the architecture department at this time. They are seen on at least two occasions with a white, three foot scale model of the Pentagon. Between 60 and 80 slides of the Sears building in Chicago and the World Trade Center are found to be missing from the technical library after 9/11. [Sunday Times, 2/3/02]
September 11, 2001, 10:02 a.m.: The Sears Tower in Chicago begins evacuation. Other prominent tall buildings and landmarks begin evacuating about an hour later. [Ottawa Citizen, 9/11/01] The fourth plane, UAL-93, is still headed toward Chicago at this time.
October 16, 2001 (C): Two men, Moshe Elmakias and Ron Katar, are arrested after being found with a detailed video of the Sears Tower in Chicago. In addition, a woman named Ayelet Reisler is found with them, carrying conflicting identification information. They are arrested for illegal dumping, using a van with the name Moving Systems Incorporated. The video contains extensive zoom in shots of the Sears Tower; it is not known when the video was filmed. [Philadelphia Mercury, 10/18/01] Given the moving van cover (see September 11, 2001 (W) and [DEA report, 6/01]), and the Jewish names, it is likely these three are part of the Israeli spy ring.
Could they have been videotaping the Sears Tower on 9/11 in the expectation that it would be hit by a plane? Had Flight 93 not been delayed 40 minutes on the runway and stayed on course, it would have been near Chicago at the same time as the other attacks, and it turned towards Washington 20 minutes after the FAA informed the military that the plane had been hijacked.
MetLife to Sell Sears Tower
Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:05 PM ET Add Business - AP to My Yahoo!
NEW YORK - Insurance giant MetLife Inc. said Thursday it has agreed to sell the Sears Tower in Chicago to an unspecified buyer, ending the company's long-standing investment in the nation's tallest skyscraper.
MetLife, which is based in New York, expects to close the deal in the second quarter and take a $90 million gain. The company said the sale won't have a material impact on operating earnings.
MetLife spokesman John Calagna said the company entered into a confidentiality agreement with the buyer and won't disclose the price or the name of the acquiring company.
"This is a very good deal for company," Calagna said. "We're always looking at our real estate portfolio; it's a very favorable marketplace right now and we took that into account, so it was the right decision to sell this building at this time."
Sears Tower is a 110-story landmark in downtown Chicago. MetLife's sale closes the books on the company's ownership, which dates back nearly 15 years. It also marks a quick turnaround since the company acquired full control in August.
In 1990, MetLife purchased a mortgage on the property after the original owner, Sears Roebuck & Co., refinanced amid a severe real-estate downturn.
Trizec Properties Inc., a real-estate investment trust based in Chicago, bought control of the tower in 1997 through a $70 million second mortgage purchased from another lender.
Legal title was to pass to Trizec this past January 2003.
But Trizec's equity position effectively dissolved over the past few years as the building's value deflated amid a weak office market in Chicago. Trizec instead sold [back] its stake in August for $9 million to MetLife, which held the $766 million first mortgage. Trizec continues to manage the property.
The Sears Tower, which is 88 percent occupied, has struggled with sagging demand for office space and tenants' lack of enthusiasm for high-profile buildings after the terror attacks of 2001.
Shares of MetLife closed Thursday were at $33.47, down 80 cents, or 2.3 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites).
link to story.news.yahoo.com
MetLife sells Sears Tower
Friday, March 12, 2004
BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter Advertisement
Sears Tower is being sold, and the deal represents votes of confidence both in the Chicago real estate market and the nation's war on terrorism.
MetLife Inc., owner of the 110-story tower in the West Loop, disclosed the sale Thursday. MetLife wouldn't reveal the buyers, but a source close to the sale said they are New York investors who held the lease on the World Trade Center.
The buyers, the source said, are Lloyd Goldman, Joseph Cayre and Jeffrey Feil. The same men also were named as the buyers by the Slatin Report, a Web site covering New York real estate. All are prominent but secretive Manhattan landlords.
Goldman and Cayre joined with Larry Silverstein in buying the trade center lease for $3.2 billion months before the twin towers were destroyed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Silverstein is embroiled in lawsuits over a $7.1 billion insurance payout for his ownership group. A spokesman said Silverstein is not involved in the Sears Tower deal.
MetLife did not report the sales price, saying only that the deal gives it a $90 million after-tax gain. The giant insurer held a $760 million mortgage on the property, so the sales price could exceed $850 million. But some experts said the price could be less, especially if MetLife has reduced the value of the building on its books.
Many Chicago brokers were astonished by the swiftness of the sale, which occurred without MetLife taking competing bids. Brokers said the Sears Tower "offer book'' hit the streets only a couple of weeks ago.
"Somebody came in with a pre-emptive bid. It must have swept them off their feet,'' one said.
Appraisals of Sears Tower have fluctuated wildly since the terrorist attacks suggested the building, the tallest in the United States, could be a future target. Before Sept. 11, 2001, an appraisal listed its value at $911 million, but that was reduced to $826 million last year.
Goldman Sachs & Co. is a leading tenant in Sears Tower, with a lease until 2011, but it plans to move to another building. That was the tower's biggest loss after the Sept. 11 attacks.
A spokesman for Chicago-based Trizec Properties Inc., manager and leasing agent for the building, said other tenants have renewed their space and new ones have signed on, giving it a healthy and stable occupancy of 89 percent. Rents, however, are cheaper in the building, and that factored into its lowered valuation.
"It's still one of the best buildings in Chicago. It just has bad karma,'' said Drew Neiman, principal of the John Buck Co. and a former leasing agent for the building. He said he expects its value and rents will rise as the nation's fear of terrorism subsides.
But developer Steven Fifield said Sears Tower still will need aggressive marketing campaigns because it is no longer attractive to large tenants. "If you look at the Empire State Building, it's all small tenants, and that may be the way Sears has to go,'' Fifield said.
Trizec said it doesn't know if the new owners will retain its services.
Trizec previously was the property's controlling owner through a second mortgage. MetLife bought that interest for $9 million last August to avoid a default.
MetLife said the sale should close by the end of June. The transaction ends the insurer's financial involvement with the building after 14 years.
In late 2002, MetLife struck a deal in Chicago with Goldman, Feil and others, selling them a 37-story building at 10 S. La Salle for $120 million.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. moved out of its signature home in 1993 when it relocated to Hoffman Estates.
Contributing: Eric Herman
311 SOUTH WACKER DRIVE JUST SOLD ALSO (3-11)
Posted By: Never_Surrender <Send E-Mail>
Date: Saturday, 13 March 2004, 3:35 p.m.
In Response To: SEARS TOWER ADDRESS IS 233 SOUTH WACKER DRIVE....------ (neuamerica)
After doing a little checking I found out that this is not the only building that LLoyd Goldman is buying in Chicago, he is also buying another building from Metlife in the area,
New York investor Lloyd Goldman is leading an investment group that is in talks to pay $140 million, or $191/sf, for the 733,000-sf building at 10 South LaSalle Street. Both properties are being offered by Metropolitan Life via Cushman & Wakefield as part of a massive disposition.
Also, I found it interesting that there seems to be alot of activity in real estate transactions going on in this area.
SNIP from same article...
Some $1.3 billion of large office properties have changed hands since January, ranking downtown Chicago as the third most-active market nationally, after New York and Los Angeles County.
Also in the middle of a huge real estate transaction with Metlife is Teachers Insurance co. and oddly enough they have just sold their building located at 311 South Wacker Drive just to turn around and buy the 39 story building at One South Wacker Drive. The Sears Tower address is 233 South Wacker Drive.
SNIP from article linked above...
Teachers Insurance is close to striking a deal to pay $215 million, or $179 a square foot, for the 1.2 million-sf building at One South Wacker Drive.
Teachers' interest in the 39-story One South Wacker comes on the heels of its sale of the 1.3 million-sf building at 311 South Wacker Drive.
I searched for quite a while for a connection between Teachers Insurance and any of the three men buying the Sears Tower, Lloyd Goldman, Joseph Cayre and Jeffrey Feil and have yet to find any except that they are all buying buildings from Metlife.
Here is a link to an interactive map of downtown Chicago
More if I find anything.
In Response To: READER WONDERS: IS STAGE BEING SET? (Esclarmonde)
The other item to watch with regards to the Sears Tower is building security.
If I recall correctly, on the Thursday before 9/11 the bomb sniffing dogs were
pulled out of the WTC. Can't bring in explosive materials with bomb sniffing
dogs walking around. What firm handles security for the Sears Tower? What are
their connections? Has Controlled Demolition been sniffing around? Is the
security firm going to change along with the building ownership? How much is
the new insurance for? Etc., etc.
RANDOM PUZZLE PIECES - SEARS -ENRON -ASBESTOS
Posted By: agent777 <Send E-Mail>
Date: Friday, 12 March 2004, 1:05 a.m.
In Response To: SEARS TOWER ADDRESS IS 233 SOUTH WACKER DRIVE....------ (neuamerica)
I don't know how any of these links might connect - so I just wanted to post them and see what any of you might come up with.
First of all, like the WTC, The Sears tower has had OR currently has an asbestos problem -(I have not been able to find out if this has been resolved to date)
Remember WTC had just lost a lawsuit regarding this a few months prior to the 9/11 "attack" - The victory was handed to the INSURERS who were NOT required to compensate the owner of WTC for ' more than $600 million for removing asbestos from its properties".
Guess the owners got the last laugh on the insurers - as the buildings were totally lost in the 9/11 attack - and insurers paid off after all
May 5 - 11, 2001 "Chalk up one victory for insurers in the escalating asbestos-claims mOlOe: the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has lost a 10-year-old court battle to get its insurers to pay more than $600 million for removing asbestos from its properties, including the World Trade Center and New York's airports. The judge ruled that asbestos abatement costs by themselves do not constitute 'physical loss or damage' under the Port Authority's all-risk policies. The agency is considering an appeal."
SEARS TOWER ASBESTOS
THE JOHN BUCK COMPANY:
SEARS TOWER: http://www.tjbc.com/project_SearsTower.html Objective
To reposition a dated corporate headquarters into a multi-tenant asset, and enhance the long-term value of the property .
Challenges Redevelop a property with minimum disruption to existing tenants. Redesign traffic patterns to optimize pedestrian flow of an estimated 12,000 tenants and 1.5 million tourists per year. Institute an asbestos-removal program throughout the property. Create marketing momentum by repositioning the property as the premier office location in the downtown Chicago market. Aggressively re-lease the property to counteract the 34% occupancy rate that resulted from the Sears relocation
Is it necessary to remove asbestos or is encapsulating the material enough?
Does all hazardous material in the building have to be addressed at once?
Are your facility environmental issues a puzzle?
We can help find the solutions.
Customer List Includes: Sears Tower http://www.themutualcompanies.com/asb_text.htm
Meanwhile - The company selling the Sears tower, Met Life is in the news for the following:
MetLife Says Unit Under SEC Investigation MetLife Says SEC Has Opened an Investigation Into Insurance Subsidiary
NOW - as I said, I don't know what any of this means but - The same risk consulting company that is handling the "restructuring of Enron, is also advisor on Sears Tower Security."
Kroll - The Risk Consulting Company http://www.krollworldwide.com/about/history/notable/
Over the past 30 years, Kroll has maintained a reputation for respecting its clients' confidentiality, while also gaining worldwide recognition for its work on many high-profile public cases. These notable cases include:
Early in 2002, Kroll Zolfo Cooper, Kroll's U.S. corporate advisory subsidiary, was given the monumental challenge of restructuring Enron, the fallen energy giant with $65 billion in assets. At the time of Enron's filing, it was the largest Chapter 11 and it remains the most complex. With Kroll's Steve Cooper at the helm as Enron's CEO and chief restructuring officer, a Kroll team is working with Enron's current management and its creditors committee to implement a plan to maximize value for the company's stakeholders. (2002-Present)
SEARS TOWER SECURITY
Sears Tower Security
Sears Tower, the tallest building in North America, is one of more than 10,000 buildings whose security was entrusted to Kroll after Sept. 11. Kroll's specialists continue to conduct comprehensive threat assessments, recommend systemic and policy changes, and advise on crisis management plans for building owners worldwide. (2001-present)
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