Hearst Acquistion Watch: Buying NYC Real Estate, Too.

Yesterday Hearst picked up Kaboodle.com; earlier this month it bought UGO Networks. But the New York Observer reports that the company has also been snatching up a swath of Manhattan real estate near its new Midtown headquarters

In July, the publishing giant purchased a 21,000-square-foot apartment building at 811 Ninth Avenue for $17.1 million. In June, it purchased a four-story building across the street for $4.9 million at 828 Ninth Avenue. In May, it purchased an 8,100-square-foot building at 304 West 56th Street, a block from its skyscraper headquarters, for $7.6 million. All the buildings are blocks from the headquarters, which opened last year.

What’s clear is that Hearst wants these buildings and wants them very badly. Beyond the fact that they’re overpaying—$1,000 per foot is the going rate for office towers, not Hell’s Kitchen apartment buildings—they’re also aggressively pursuing them.

What’s Hearst up to? The company tells the paper’s John Koblin that it’s not planning on assembling the parcels in order to build another tower; the Observer concludes that perhaps the company simply plans on flipping the properties down the line. NY Observer

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