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Distressed-Mall Investor Now Targeting Aging Manhattan Offices

As prices drop, Namdar sees opportunity — and bargains —  in buildings that have fallen out of favor with both tenants and buyers. 

830 Third Ave.
830 Third Ave.

Igal Namdar built a multibillion-dollar property empire as a “bottom feeder” buying financially troubled shopping malls. Now he’s following a similar playbook with Manhattan offices, acquiring aging buildings as the city struggles to recover from historically high vacancies.

Namdar and joint-venture partner Empire Capital Holdings paid $72 million this month for 830 Third Ave., a 13-floor tower built in 1958. The deal followed last September’s purchase of 345 Seventh Ave. — more than 90 years old, with 24 stories — for $107 million.

For both buildings, the prices amounted to less than $500 a square foot. That’s far lower than the average for Manhattan offices of $896 a square foot, August data from MSCI Real Assets show. Values have fallen from a pre-pandemic peak of $1,000 a square foot in February 2019.

With fewer people at their desks after Covid lockdowns, many New York office tenants have been reducing their space or leaving aging buildings for more-desirable locations. That’s created opportunities for investors like Namdar who see value in out-of-fashion properties.