Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chrysler Building sold to Arabs

From The New York Post:

The latest Big Apple trophy being coveted by oil-rich sovereign wealth funds is the landmark Chrysler Building.

Sources say the su per-rich Abu Dhabi Investment Council is negotiating an $800 million deal for a 75 per cent stake in the Art Deco treasure that has defined the Midtown skyline since 1930.

The Chrysler assets would be purchased from TMW - the German arm of an Atlanta- based investment fund that's been eager to cash out of its Chrysler stake.

The deal follows last month's sale of the GM Building and three other Macklowe/Equity Portfolio properties for $3.95 billion to a group of investors including the wealth funds of Kuwait and Qatar and Boston Properties.

As part of the Chrysler deal, sources said the Abu Dhabi Investment Council would also get part of the skyscraper's signature Trylons retail prize next door.

Three observations:

1. Some people will lament the fact that a US landmark is being sold to foreigners. The same thing was said back in the '80s when the Japanese were buying up American real estate. We should remember that the Japanese lost their shirt doing that.

2. I'll bet you that Rush Limbaugh (who can be a true idiot when he sets his mind to it) will mention this in the first hour of his show today. He will start giggling and ranting about the Dubai port deal. For the record this is nothing like an Islamic country taking over one of our sea ports. You cannot use partial ownership of the Chrysler Building to smuggle nerve gas into the US. Nuff said.

3. Dollars that we shipped overseas to buy oil will come back into the country (as they all eventually will). This is a good thing.