Wendy Silverstein Plans Exit From New York REIT

Wendy Silverstein

(Bloomberg)—With New York REIT Inc. approaching the end of its liquidation, Chief Executive Officer Wendy Silverstein is preparing to make her next move.

Silverstein is in talks to take a senior role at co-working giant WeWork Cos. that hasn’t yet been defined, said people with knowledge of the matter. She’s leaving New York REIT as the company gets close to winding down, with an agreement to sell Manhattan’s Viceroy Hotel.

New York REIT has been selling properties to buyers including funds managed by Brookfield Property Partners LP and Columbia Property Trust Inc. The REIT said on Friday that it’s selling the Viceroy, on West 57th Street in New York, for $41 million. Arden Group is in contract to buy the hotel, and has hired HEI Hotels & Resorts as the property’s management company, said Rene Bardel, an Arden managing director.

Once the transaction is complete, New York REIT will have sold all of its properties except for a 50.1 percent stake in midtown Manhattan office tower Worldwide Plaza.

“With the sale of the Viceroy Hotel, the job that I set out to do at NYRT, namely the liquidation of the company’s assets, will be substantially complete,” Silverstein said in a statement Friday. “It has been a privilege to lead NYRT and I am incredibly proud of the work we have done to enhance value for our shareholders.”

Before joining as CEO, Silverstein held senior roles including vice president and co-head of acquisitions and capital markets at Vornado Realty Trust. She has also been on the boards of companies including Toys R Us Inc., TPG RE Finance Trust Inc. and Alexander’s Inc.

A WeWork spokesman declined to comment on talks with Silverstein, and Silverstein didn’t respond to a request for comment. Bloomberg first reported Silverstein’s planned departure from New York REIT late Thursday.

WeWork had raised $404 million across four separate vehicles dedicated to real estate investments, according to filings in March. It’s not clear if Silverstein will be involved with these funds. The company has boosted its property holdings, with the most notable transaction being its purchase of the flagship Lord & Taylor building in Manhattan. It also was part of a group that bought Devonshire Square in London.

–With assistance from Ellen Huet. To contact the reporter on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at [email protected] Daniel Taub, Christine Maurus

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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