2 Dag Hammerskjold Plaza

Case Study

Essex Capital acquired this 100,000-square-foot office building on the east side of midtown Manhattan from the Jamaican Mutual Life Assurance Society, which had left the building in a nearly vacant state. Recognizing the strength of the location, just one block away from the United Nations, Essex Capital cleared out the remaining tenants and subdivided the building into open floor plan commercial condominiums.

Essex Capital then marketed the newly created condominiums to foreign nations looking for modern office space near the U.N. for their consulates and delegations. The condominium ownership strategy was chosen specifically to appeal to foreign government purchasers, who could take advantage of a tax exemption for property owned, but not for property leased.

Essex Capital put the handsome building, which is sheathed in reflective black glass, through a multi-million dollar renovation, including a new building plaza with seasonal landscaping, building entrance, and lobby. In addition, Essex Capital updated the building with sophisticated security systems, individual owner-controlled air conditioning, submetered electricity, state-of-the-art fire safety systems, and 24-hour, seven-day manned concierge reception center

Though diplomatic real estate purchases have their own unique challenges, the strategic repositioning of Two Dag Hammarskjold Plaza was an immediate success. Within one year of purchasing the troubled asset, Essex Capital successfully sold all the commercial condominium units to buyers including the nations of Greece, Portugal and Bahrain.

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