ViacomCBS announced Monday plans to sell Black Rock, the famed midtown Manhattan headquarters building for CBS, to the privately owned real estate firm Harbor Group International for $760 million.
The network, which has occupied the 38-story, 491-foot-tall building since it opened in 1964, plans to lease back its space on a short-term basis. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.
The tower was the only skyscraper designed by the renowned architect Eero Saarinen, whose other works include Lincoln Center Theater and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
Naveen Chopra, EVP and Chief Financial Officer for ViacomCBS, said the sale was prompted by a review non-core assets since the company completed its re-merger in December 2019. “The use of proceeds from this transaction will remain consistent with our previously discussed capital allocation strategy, allowing us further financial flexibility to invest in our strategic growth priorities, including streaming,” Chopra said in a statement.
Harbor Group plans a significant capital program to pursue a long-term leasing plan, with updates to the lobby, cafeteria and other tenant amenities. The company’s $14.5 billion investment portfolio includes 4.4 million square feet of commercial space throughout the U.S. and the U.K. and 53,000 apartment units in the U.S.
“The agreement to acquire the CBS Building is further proof of HGI’s ability to identify and successfully transact for unique investment opportunities in an increasingly competitive market,” HGI President Richard Litton said in a statement. “With its prime location, Class A features, and strong roster of tenants, HGI is positioned to acquire one of New York City’s few iconic assets. We look forward to activating our strategic business plan for this asset at a transformational time for New York City’s office market.”