United Kingdom-based Ambassador Theater Group and Rhode Island-based Providence Equity Partners through the entity Jujamcyn Midco, LLC acquired a 93.06 percent stake in Jujamcyn Theaters’ five Broadway theaters, in a deal valued at $308.4 million.
The properties are 302 West 45th Street, 230 West 49th Street and 246 West 44th Street, 243 West 52nd Street and 219 West 48th Street in the Broadway Theater District in Manhattan. The names are the St. James Theatre, the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, the August Wilson Theatre, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and the Walter Kerr Theatre.
The deal closed on June 6, 2023 and was recorded on July 19, 2023. The five properties have 147,094 square feet of built space and 369,080 square feet of additional air rights for a total buildable of 516,215 square feet according to a PincusCo analysis of city data. The sale price per built square foot is $2,096 and the price per buildable square foot is $597 per the PincusCo analysis. (The price per square foot analysis is the transaction price divided by square feet as reported in public records and assumes no air rights have been sold.)
Ambassador Theater Group backed by Providence Equity Partners acquired control of the Broadway landlord Jujamcyn Theaters by “combining operations,” according to a press release and news reports in February including the New York Times. At the same time as the acquisition, Jujamcyn’s debts of $203 million were paid down.
The total transfer value was $308.4 million, but tax was paid on only 93.06 percent of that, indicating Jordan Roth, son of Vornado Realty Trust CEO Steven Roth or other individuals as leaders of Jujamcyn, retain a 6.94 percent stake, according to an analysis by PincusCo, which was not confirmed by the parties. At the same time, Jujumycn acquired a 6.94 percent stake valued at in the two theaters on Broadway and one in Brooklyn that Ambassador Theater Group owns, with those three properties valued at $97 .7 million.
Jujamcyn owns five theaters on Broadway and the New York Times reported is the smallest of the three largest theater landlords.
ATG has two theaters on Broadway but owns 58 in Britain, Germany and the United States, according to the New York Times. Ambassador Theater Group is backed by the private equity group Providence Equity Partners which Jonathan Nelson founded in in 1989 and is based in Providence, Rhode Island but has offices around the world.
In 2005 Rocco Landeman paid $30 million, not including air rights for control of Jujamcyn, and in December 2012 Jordan Roth acquired a majority in the five theaters from Landesman, in a transfer valued in city records at $115 million. Variety reported on the sale but did not disclose a value.
At the same time, Roth upped the total loan to $115 million through $102 million in new debt. In 2019 Jujamcyn added a fresh $95.7 million in debt for a total of $203 million from Capital One. That entire debt was paid off on June 6, 2023 and no new debt has been recorded with this transfer.
Prior sales and revenue
Prior to this transaction, PincusCo has no record that the buyer Ambassador Theater Group had purchased any other properties and has no record it sold any properties over the past 24 months.
The seller Jujamcyn Theaters had not purchased any other properties and had not sold any properties over the same time period.
The specialty building in Hell’s Kitchen has 147,094 square feet of built space and 369,080 square feet of additional air rights for a total buildable of 516,215 square feet according to a PincusCo analysis of city data. The parcel has frontage of 133 feet and is 100 feet deep with a total lot size of 13,388 square feet. The zoning is C6-2 which allows for up to 6 times floor area ratio (FAR) for commercial and up to 6.02 times FAR for residential. The property is in the Individual Landmark. The city-designated market value for the property in 2022 is $9.7 million.
Violations and lawsuits
There were no lawsuits or bankruptcies filed against the properties for the past 24 months. In addition, according to city public data, the properties have received four DOB violations and $1,435 in OATH penalties in the last year.
There are no active new building construction projects or major alteration projects with initial costs more than $1 million on this tax lot.
In Hell’s Kitchen, The bulk, or 39 percent of the 40.6 million square feet of commercial built space are elevator buildings, with specialty buildings next occupying 18 percent of the space. In sales, Hell’s Kitchen has 3.4 times the average sales volume among other neighborhoods with $1.2 billion in sales volume in the last two years and is the 11th highest in Manhattan. For development, Hell’s Kitchen is the 8th most active neighborhood among other neighborhoods. It had 4.3 million square feet of commercial and multi-family construction under development in the last two years, which represents 11 percent of the neighborhood’s built space.
On the tax block of 302 West 45th Street, PincusCo has identified the owners of nine of the 22 commercial properties representing 225,824 square feet of the 830,298 square feet. The largest owner is Schwartz Family, followed by S.W. Management and then Maheshchand Ratanji.
There are no active new building construction projects on this tax block.
The majority, or 57 percent of the 830,298 square feet of built space are office buildings, with elevator buildings next occupying 19 percent of the space.
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