Manhattan’s newest landmark has two new partners. San Francisco-based real estate investment management firm MacFarlane Partners, in a joint venture with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, has entered into an agreement to purchase a significant stake in the AOL Time Warner Center.

The company has agreed to purchase a 49.5% in the center from Apollo Real Estate Advisors and The Related Cos. Apollo and Related will retain ownership of the remaining portion of the properties. The purchase price, which will be set Jan. 31, 2005, when the transaction is complete, is valued between $425 million and $500 million. The building is scheduled to open in the fall of 2003.

MacFarlane’s portfolio at the AOL Time Warner Center will include a stake in The Shops at Columbus Circle, a 347,000 sq. ft. retail space; 211,000 sq. ft. of office space that is not allocated to the center’s main tenant AOL Time Warner; and a 504-space parking garage in three below-grade levels.

In addition, the joint venture is acquiring a $359 million share of the project’s $1.2 billion construction loan with GMAC Commercial Mortgage. The entire commercial mortgage loan on the project totals $1.4 billion.

MacFarlane Partners also is investing in a fund that will own and operate two restaurants and an upscale lounge bar in the building.

For more information on the AOL Time Warner Center project, please see "Too Big A Trophy?" in the February issue of NREI.