New York’s iconic “Flatiron” building was sold at auction for $161 million on Tuesday after an initial sale fell through two months ago. Jeffrey Gural, president of the real estate group GFP Real Estate, bought the 22-story skyscraper built in 1902 on behalf of four of the five owners after a judge ordered its sale due to irreconcilable disagreements between the partners.
At the first auction held on March 22, Jacob Garlick, a founding partner of the Abraham Trust investment fund, bid $190 million, half a million more than Gural, but did not pay the $19 million deposit to secure the purchase.
Gural, 80 years old, decided not to exercise his right to purchase at that time and waited for the second auction, where he managed to save almost 30 million dollars for this tourist attraction located at the confluence of Broadway and Fifth Avenue on 22nd Street in the heart of Manhattan.
The auction was held at the New York County Supreme Court, with a starting price of $50 million. There were seven interested parties, and it lasted approximately half an hour in the presence of a hundred people.
The “Flatiron” building has been vacant since 2019, when its last tenant, McMillan Publishers, left. It was owned by five partners who failed to agree on its use.
Four real estate companies—GFP Real Estate (owned by Gural), Newmark, ABS Real Estate Partners, and the Sorgente Group—controlled 75% of the property. In 2021, they sued the fifth partner, Nathan Silverstein, who owned the remaining 25%. A judge ordered its sale in January.
Designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, the “Flatiron” building was last auctioned during the Great Depression that followed the stock market crash in 1929 for a price of $100,000.
According to the local press, the four owners plan to repurpose this triangle-shaped building, which needs another $100 million for renovation, for apartments in a depressed commercial market following the COVID-19 pandemic.
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