Sony (NYSE:SNE) has reached an agreement to sell the Sony Tower, the New York City building that houses its U.S. headquarters, for $1.1 billion to a consortium of investors led by The Chetrit Group, a New York City-based commercial real estate firm.

The transaction is expected to close in March, however various units of the company will remain as tenants for up to three years on the basis of a leaseback arrangement.

Sony said it expects to realize a gain of $685 million on the sale of the 550 Madison Ave. building, which will be booked as operating income. It described the move as part of "a range of initiatives to strengthen its financial foundation and business competitiveness and for future growth."

Located in the heart of the midtown district, the 37-story, 647-foot high skyscraper was designed by star architect Phillip Johnson and his partner John Burgee. It was completed in 1984. Sony bought it in 2002.