The New York City-based Fortress Investment Group recently made an important acquisition in southern Florida, purchasing an iconic building on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. The build has been the home of Tiffany & Co for many years, and sold for $20 million. Fortress Investment Group expressed their plan to add an upscale office space on the second floor of the building in the future, but the building will continue to retain the tenants that it currently has.
The deal ended up generating a lot of buzz in Palm Beach, locals having wondered what will happen with the property. The building is located on 259 Worth Avenue, at the corner of Hibiscus and Worth, across from the Chanel store, being among the most recognizable ones. It was built in 1950 and has a total of 16,374 square feet of space over 2 stories. The property was put on the market in 2016 by the Tampa-based commercial brokerage firm Franklin Street, and media outlets expected it to sell for $40 million, meaning $2,442 per square foot, but it ended up selling for half the amount, $1,221 per square foot. The senior vice president of investment sales at the Tampa-based firm handled the sale, and stated that it was a rare opportunity for Fortress to acquire a premier asset on a famous retail street. Tiffany & Co. has been operating from the second floor of the building since 1991, and will continue to operate out of the space which totals 11,081 square feet.
Many people have wondered whether the involvement of Fortress Investment Group in the purchase of the building is in any way related to their involvement with All Aboard Florida passenger train line that is developed by Brightline, a company that Fortress purchased some time ago. Fortress Investment Group managed approximately $41.4 billion in assets as of the middle of 2018. The firm is considered to be a trendsetter, as it was the first of its kind to become publicly traded back in 2007, only 9 years after being founded by Edens, Nardone, and Kauffman in 1998. The firm was acquired by the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group in 2017.
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