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NY Coca-Cola building sold for US$955m in quick flip

New York

TALK about a fast flip. Just a month after it sold for US$909 million, Manhattan's Coca-Cola building has changed hands once again, this time for a higher price of US$955 million.

A partnership including developers Michael Shvo and Bilgili Group paid that amount for the historic 18-storey property, on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, in a deal that closed this week, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction.

The sellers were Nightingale Properties and Wafra Capital Partners, said the person, who asked not to be identified because they were discussing a private matter. The sellers' purchase was completed in August this year, New York City public records showed.

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The new owners will keep the tower, which has a history dating back to 1927, as an office-and-retail property, while enhancing its amenities and public spaces, according to Mr Shvo's website.

Such a project would be a new direction for Mr Shvo, whose focus has been on high-end residential developments, such as the conversion of a portion of Fifth Avenue's Crown Building.

Deutsche Finance Group and German pension fund BVK are backing the purchase, according to the person with knowledge of the deal.

Coca-Cola inherited the tower in 1983, through its purchase of Columbia Pictures. Bloomberg reported in December last year that the beverage company hired brokers to sell the property, which counts boutique investment bank Allen & Co and Sandler Capital Management among its tenants.

The Polo Bar by Ralph Lauren remains even after the fashion company's decision to close its flagship store in the same building. BLOOMBERG