Zell Buys Luxury Manhattan Towers

Chicago-based Equity Residential snatching up properties while prices are low

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    Sam Zell

    Sam Zell's real estate portfolio is growing.

    Chicago-based Equity Residential, whose chairman is Zell, acquired two luxury apartment complexes in Manhattan and will buy a third for a total price of $475 million, the real estate investment trust said Monday.

    Zell is also the chairman for the Tribune Company.

    Equity is snapping up property in core markets before the real estate market rebounds while prices are low, it said.

    The deals announced Monday include 910 apartment units, 23,339 square feet of retail space and 50,000 square feet for parking.

    Equity said it closed Friday on the acquisitions of River Tower, in the Sutton Place area of Manhattan, and 777 Sixth Ave., in the city's Chelsea section. River Tower is 38 stories high and contains 323 apartment units, while 777 Sixth Ave. is a 32-story building with 294 units.

    Equity also signed a contract for the Longacre House, which it expects to close on no later than May 1. The 26-story tower is in Midtown Manhattan and houses 293 apartment units.

    The seller in all three deals is New York-based Macklowe Properties.

    Equity Residential will own and run 26 properties in the New York metro areas when the deal closes.

    Shares of Equity Residential added 60 cents to $32.65.

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