By LANDON THOMAS Jr.
Published: July 10, 2008
The hunt for the great American trophy asset is on.
The global commodities boom and the dollar’s decline have unleashed a wave of big money buys of prized American assets by newly flush foreign investors.
From $100 million mansions in Palm Beach, Fla., to $23 million modern art confections, to multibillion-dollar stakes in once-venerated Wall Street banks, the number of flashy acquisitions by Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs, Qatari sheiks and large government-sponsored funds in the Middle East is growing.
And now Abu Dhabi, which already owns a 4.9 percent stake in Citigroup, has expanded its portfolio of choice American assets to include the Chrysler Building, whose thin spire and Art Deco styling make it an indelible feature of New York City’s skyline.
The government of Abu Dhabi bought a 90 percent stake in the landmark building Tuesday for $800 million from a German real estate fund managed by Prudential Real Estate Investors. The 1,046-foot (319-meter) tower was designed by William Van Alen and completed in 1930 for the Chrysler Corporation and its founder, Walter Chrysler.