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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New York City Landmark For Sale

Israeli real estate tycoon Lev Leviev is showing a growing appetite for New York real estate. His Africa-Israel USA investment company just agreed to buy the iconic former Metropolitan Life Insurance headquarters near Madison Square Park for $200 million.

News of the deal comes less than a month after Mr. Leviev inked a deal to buy the New York Times building at 229 W. 43rd St. for $525 million. It also marks Africa-Israel’s third major acquisition in New York in as many months. The company partnered with Mann Realty Service to buy the landmark residential building the Apthorp for $426 million.

Tuesday’s deal calls for Africa-Israel to buy the north tower of the building -- known as the ''clock tower'' -- from SL Green Realty Corp. The tower is located at 5 Madison Ave. above 23rd St. and comprises 41 stories with 267,000 square feet.

SLGreen bought the property in 2005 and still owns the much-larger south tower. The company did not say how much it paid for the building, but said it will ''realize a substantial gain'' from the sale.

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