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Manhattan Landmark 70 Pine St. Said to Be Sold for $205 Million

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- New York’s landmark 70 Pine St., the former headquarters of American International Group Inc., is under contract to be sold to a venture including Metro Loft Management, two people with knowledge of the transaction said.

The seller of the art deco tower is South Korea-based Kumho Investment Bank and the purchase price was $205 million, said the people, who asked not to be named because the the deal was private. Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. was the broker.

Metro Loft Management, led by Nathan Berman, agreed to buy the tower in partnership with Ron Bruckner, according to the people. The New York City-based developers have previously purchased similar downtown Manhattan properties, including 63 Wall St. and 20 Exchange Place, and are known for converting former commercial buildings into residential spaces.

“Preserving and reusing landmark buildings is a great endeavor in New York City,” Carl Schwartz, attorney for the partners, said in a telephone interview. “Ronny and Nathan’s properties are great evidence of that.”

George Shea, a spokesman for Jones Lang LaSalle in New York, declined to comment. Jack Berman, vice president of Metro Loft Management, didn’t return three phone messages seeking comment on the deal, which was reported earlier today by the New York Post.

The transaction comes two days after the 66-story tower, completed in 1932 and formerly known as the Cities Service Building, was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Kumho Investment Bank purchased 70 Pine St. and an adjacent building, 72 Wall St., for $150 million in 2009. AIG sold the property that year after being bailed out by the federal government.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ashwin Seshagiri in New York at aseshagiri@bloomberg.net. David M. Levitt in New York at dlevitt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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