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Friday, September 17, 2021

Qatar is now one of New York’s biggest property owners

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The Manhattan skyline. Credit: Bradley Weber/Flickr

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is now among the top property owners in New York, a new report has found.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which also owns a great deal of real estate in Europe’s London and Paris, now holds some 10.69 million square feet of real estate in New York.

That’s up 145 percent from March of last year, according to commercial real estate intelligence group CoStar.

Empire State Building in New York. Credit: Michael Muraz/Flickr

This now makes the QIA the ninth largest property holder in the state.

Crain’s New York reports that this in large part due to the QIA’s $622 million investment in the company that owns the Empire State Building.

The August purchase gained the QIA a 9.9 percent stake in the Empire State Realty Trust, which manages what used to be the world’s tallest skyscraper.

The firm also has more than a dozen other office and retail properties, mostly in Manhattan.

Shifting strategy

The QIA has increased oversight on spending in recent years, and has been looking to buy more assets in the US and Asia after traditionally focusing on European markets.

Wealth fund officials have previously said they would invest $35 billion in the US by 2020.

And analysts take this to mean New York property will continue to attract the fund’s attention.

Photo of London for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Pixabay

Speaking to Crain’s, Michael Maduell, president of the Las Vegas-based research group the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, said:

“Internationally, New York real estate is a safe place to park assets. And wealth funds are sometimes willing to pay more for assets than real estate fund managers. They’re buying assets for the long term — like 20 to 30 years.”

That said, Qatari officials have recently pledged to invest £5 billion on the UK’s economy as it prepares to leave the European Union.

The investment will take place over the next three to five years, and be directed at real estate and infrastructure, among other things.

Qatar already owns the Shard, the Olympic Village and Canary Wharf, among other properties.

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