When it comes to the office industry, 2022 was another entry in a series of transformative years. With work time still shared between home and the office (for most companies), the office building continued to take on the role of an amenity-rich, collaboration-enhancing hub.
In this context, we wanted to find the largest transactions of office properties last year, as well as the markets that the respective properties hailed from. To that end, we ranked the most expensive transactions of office buildings larger than 25,000 square feet based on data compiled by CommercialEdge. (For a full methodology, see the end of the article). Here are some highlights:
- The 10 largest transactions featured only one NYC sale and were spread across nine different markets.
- Midtown Manhattan’s 245 Park Ave. was bought by SL Green for $1.77 billion, marking 2022’s largest office transaction.
- At 1.7 million square feet, 245 Park Ave. was also the largest office property by space to change hands last year.
- In Cambridge, Mass., 100 Binney St. sold for $1 billion, making it the second-largest sale in 2022.
- The podium was rounded out by the purchase of the Madison Centre in Seattle for $730 million.
- NYC’s transactions among the 50 biggest added up to $3.8 billion, followed by Boston’s $1.8 billion and New Jersey with $1.6 billion.
245 Park Ave. Is 2022’s Most Expensive Office Property Sale & NYC’s Only Top 10 Entry
With a sale price of $1.77 billion, 245 Park Ave. was last year’s most expensive office building sale by a considerable margin. Built in 1967, the building has been managed by new owner SL Green since 2018 when it purchased a stake in the property. The real estate investment trust — the largest owner of office space in New York City — then fully acquired the property in September 2022.
In fact, SL Green has already announced major improvement and redesign plans for the property, which are to be spearheaded by Kohn Pedersen Fox. The redesign will mark another major collaboration between SL Green and Kohn Pedersen Fox following their work together on One Vanderbilt.
However, it’s worth noting that 245 Park Ave. was the only New York City entry among the most expensive office deals in 2022. The next-priciest NYC property was The Lipstick Building — just half a mile northeast between 53rd and 54th streets. This time, SL Green did the selling, with new owner Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center paying more than $450 million for the property in the 12th-most expensive office transaction of 2022.
Life Sciences Continue to Propel Office Sales in Boston Metro
Meanwhile, the second-largest office deal last year took place in Cambridge, Mass. — one of the hottest biotech clusters in the nation and the focal point of the life sciences-fueled demand for Boston office space.
Back in April, a partnership between a CBRE Investment Management fund, an institutional investor and a REIT acquired an undisclosed stake in a trophy life sciences building situated at 100 Binney St. for just more than $1 billion. This marked the second and last entry on the list to crack the $1 billion mark. However, the sale of the multi-tenant property in Cambridge’s premier Kendall Square neighborhood equated to more than twice the price per square foot of 245 Park Ave.’s acquisition.
The sale follows a string of major acquisitions in the metro by life sciences REIT Alexandria Real Estate Equities, including the purchase of 401 Park — 2021’s second-largest office sale. Here, biotech continued to drive office sales, with Cambridge also being home to the fifth-largest office sale of 2022 — the acquisition of the Kendall Center (half a mile from 100 Binney St.) by Boston Properties for $600 million.
Seattle, Denver, Phoenix & Silicon Valley Home to Office Property Sales Among 10 Most Expensive Nationally
The remainder of the top 10 list included deals in five additional states, as well as the District of Columbia. Moreover, with the exception of the aforementioned Cambridge, Mass., office deals, all other sales in the top 10 hailed from different markets, thereby highlighting a great degree of diversity in markets that are attractive to investors.
Namely, Seattle’s Madison Centre came in third with a sale price of $730 million. It was sold to Boston Properties by West Coast real estate investment, development and management firm Schnitzer West. Completed in 2017, the Madison Centre features more than 750,000 square feet of trophy Seattle office space, as well as a seven-level, subterranean car park.
Meanwhile, the rising office hubs of Boulder, Colo., and Phoenix also recorded entries among last year’s top sales. In particular, Flatiron Park — a business park in Boulder that boasts a combination of life sciences and tech tenants — was bought by BioMed Realty for a reported $593 million. As such, it’s evident that life sciences investments are playing an increasingly significant role in office deals and redevelopments, even outside cemented biotech markets, such as Boston and Seattle.
Similarly, the largest deal for Phoenix office space was also a complex: A partnership headed by Monarch Alternative Capital acquired four buildings of the Esplanade office park situated in the city’s high-demand Camelback Corridor neighborhood for a reported $500 million.
However, the Bay Area — and Silicon Valley, in particular — was not to be outdone. A year after purchasing the Meta-occupied campus in Sunnyvale, Tishman Speyer sold it for more than $700 million in June 2022, or more than twice its investment the previous year. But, that was by no means the only significant Golden State office transaction of 2022. Further south, the sale of the Los Angeles office property of One Culver for $473 million closed out the top 10 most expensive transactions, while a portfolio sale of San Diego office spaces was just shy of the top 10 most expensive office transactions.
4 Properties Larger Than 1 Million Square Feet Sold Last Year
Totaling more than 1.7 million square feet of Manhattan office space, 245 Park Ave. was also the largest office tower among last year’s 50 most expensive, as well as one of only four that were larger than 1 million square feet of office space.
The second-largest office property to change hands last year was Atlanta’s Bank of America Plaza, an iconic, 55-floor tower in the city’s downtown that has more than 1.3 million square feet of Atlanta office space. The deal reportedly cost new owner CP group $490 million, marking 2022’s ninth-most expensive transaction.
The next-largest entries by square footage were the transactions involving 101 Hudson St. in New Jersey and the Leo Burnett Building in Chicago, with 1.25 million and 1.1 million square feet, respectively. That said, the two properties failed to crack the top 10 list of the largest office sales last year, selling for $346 million and $416 million, respectively.
East Coast Markets Take Podium for Total Sales Value Across Top 50 Office Sales of 2022
When adding up the total sales among the 50 largest office sales last year, New York pulled ahead of the competition with $3.82 billion in sales among seven transactions. Granted, the sale of 245 Park Ave. amounted to almost half of that amount.
Two other East Coast markets joined NYC on the podium for largest total sales of the 50 largest office transactions. Specifically, Boston landed at #2 with $1.8 billion in sales, just ahead of New Jersey’s $1.6 billion.
Notably, Boston’s total top 50 sales volume — for which the acquisition of 100 Binney St. contributed more than half — was a far cry from 2021’s $5 billion in Cambridge alone. Yet, that impressive figure was also primarily determined by the $3.4 billion sale of the University Park portfolio.
Not far behind, the Bay Area came in at #4 with $1.4 billion in sales to make it the highest-ranked West Coast market in that indicator. More precisely, the Meta's Sunnyvale office property was the primary driving force in that figure. Similarly, the transaction involving the Madison Centre made up most of Seattle’s added sales numbers of $1.1 billion among the 50 largest sales last year.
Finally, the four sales recorded for office spaces in Washington, D.C. among the most expensive last year added up to $1.3 billion — the fifth-largest figure on the list. And, aside from several other East Coast markets, as well as San Diego, Denver offices were also among the priciest, with the city being counted among the U.S. markets with the most added sales value out of last year’s largest transactions with its $1.1 billion.
|Rank||Market||Property Name||Total Sqft||Sale Price||Buyer||Seller|
|1||Manhattan||245 Park Avenue||1.7M||$1.77B||SL Green Realty||HNA Group|
|2||Boston||Alexandria Center at Kendall Square - 100 Binney Street||431K||$1.02B||CBRE Investment Management||Alexandria Real Estate Equities|
|3||Seattle||Madison Centre||754K||$730M||Boston Properties||Schnitzer West|
|4||Bay Area||Crossman Avenue (Portfolio)||702K||$707M||Common Wealth Partners||Tishman Speyer|
|5||Boston||Kendall Center - 125 Broadway||271K||$603M||Boston Properties||Biogen|
|6||Denver||Flatiron Park (Portfolio)||932K||$594M||BioMed Realty||Crescent Real Estate|
|7||Washington, D.C.||601 Massachusetts Avenue NW||479K||$531M||Mori Trust||Boston Properties|
|8||Phoenix||Esplanade (Portfolio)||906K||$504M||Monarch Alternative Capital/Tourmaline Capital Partners||LBA Realty|
|9||Atlanta||Bank of America Plaza||1.3M||$491M||CP Group||Shorenstein|
|10||Los Angeles||One Culver||363K||$473M||EQ Office||LBA Realty|
|11||San Diego||Nancy Ridge - Sorrento Plaza/Ridge Business Park (Portfolio)||669K||$464M||Oxford Properties Group||BioMed Realty|
|12||Manhattan||Lipstick Building, The||636K||$458M||Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center||SL Green Realty|
|13||Bay Area||Stanford Research Park - 3301-3307 Hillview Avenue||292K||$446M||Alexandria Real Estate Equities||Morgan Stanley|
|14||Manhattan||450 Park Avenue||330K||$445M||SL Green Realty||Oxford Properties Group|
|15||San Diego||Rancho Vista (Portfolio)||782K||$445M||Apple||Swift Real Estate Partners|
|16||Chicago||Leo Burnett Building||1.1M||$415M||Opal Holdings||USB Realty Investors|
|17||Atlanta||Atlantic Yards||523K||$385M||KKR||Hines Interests|
|18||Philadelphia||Cira Square||863K||$383M||Brandywine Realty Trust||Korea Investment Management Company|
|19||Seattle||Second & Seneca (Portfolio)||527K||$382M||Northwood Investors||Rockwood Capital|
|20||Washington, D.C.||Patrick Henry Building||520K||$375M||Nuveen Real Estate||Tishman Speyer|
|21||San Francisco||550 Terry Francois||305K||$356M||DivcoWest||Gap|
|22||New Jersey||101 Hudson Street||1.2M||$346M||Birch Group, The||Veris Residential|
|23||Carolina Triangle||Bloc  (Portfolio)||499K||$326M||City Office REIT||Heritage Properties|
|24||Manhattan||1330 Avenue of the Americas||526K||$320M||Empire Capital Holdings||RXR Realty|
|25||New Jersey||70 Hudson Street||409K||$300M||Vision Properties||Spear Street Capital|
|26||Nashville||1200 Broadway||856K||$295M||Intercontinental Real Estate||Endeavor Real Estate Group|
|27||Denver||1800 Larimer||495K||$291M||Beacon Capital Partners||Invesco Real Estate|
|28||Manhattan||475 Fifth Avenue||276K||$291M||RFR Realty||Nuveen Real Estate|
|29||Manhattan||95 Morton Street||217K||$288M||Meadow Partners||RFR Realty|
|30||Carolina Triangle||Park Point (Portfolio)||685K||$288M||CBRE Investment Management||Trinity Capital Advisors|
|31||Miami||1221 Brickell||409K||$287M||Citadel Organization, The||Rockpoint Group|
|32||Boston||Gatehouse BioHub||382K||$273M||Alexandria Real Estate Equities||AstraZeneca|
|33||New Jersey||Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Headquarters Bldgs A-C||737K||$261M||AVG Partners||AR Global|
|34||Manhattan||175 Water Street||684K||$252M||Carlo Bellini||MetroLoft Management|
|35||Orange County||Intersect (Portfolio)||448K||$235M||MetLife Real Estate Investment||Hines Interests|
|36||Denver||1401 Lawrence||311K||$233M||PGIM Real Estate||Heitman|
|37||Chicago||Allstate Plaza North & South||723K||$232M||Dermody Properties||Allstate Investments|
|38||New Jersey||Hopewell Campus (Portfolio)||495K||$223M||Northridge Capital||Capital Commercial Investments|
|39||Bay Area||Catalyst - 684 West Maude Avenue, The||195K||$222M||Union Investment||Harvest Properties|
|40||New Jersey||Lincoln Harbor - 1000 Harbor Blvd||617K||$219M||Wharton Properties||Hartz Mountain Industries|
|41||New Jersey||Waterfront Corporate Center I||566K||$218M||SJP Properties||Veris Residential|
|42||Carolina Triangle||Syngenta RTP Innovation Center||205K||$213M||Blue Owl Capital||Syngenta|
|43||Long Island||Jericho Plaza (Portfolio)||670K||$213M||The Birch Group||DRA Advisors|
|44||Charlotte||The Line||305K||$206M||CBRE Investment Management||Portman Holdings|
|45||Los Angeles||555 South Aviation Blvd||259K||$205M||FS Investment||Tishman Speyer|
|46||Dallas||The Web @ LBJ||366K||$205M||Evoque Data Center Solutions||Digital Realty|
|47||Washington, D.C.||Universal Building (Portfolio)||685K||$204M||Post Brothers||JBG SMITH|
|48||Bridgeport||100 West Putnam Avenue||155K||$203M||Apollo Global Management||Rockpoint Group|
|49||Washington, D.C.||1400 Crystal||308K||$203M||Starwood Capital Group||LaSalle Investment Management|
|50||Atlanta||3630 Peachtree||423K||$202M||Granite Properties||Heitman|
We ranked the most expensive office transactions of 2022 for properties larger than 25,000 feet. Transaction data (including sale price, seller, buyer, transaction date and address) was provided by CommercialEdge. The data was extracted on January 30, 2023. While CommercialEdge attempts to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the data provided, it cannot be guaranteed and is subject to change.
Market-wide sales totals only included sales volumes from the list of 50 most expensive properties sold in 2022.
Portfolio transactions involving multiple properties were only counted as a single entry. Only same-market portfolio transactions were included.
For partial stake transactions, only the majority stake holder was included in the ranking as the buyer.
For transactions with undisclosed sales prices, the sale price was based on CommercialEdge estimates.