NYC’s Flatiron Building sells at auction for $161m
The iconic Flatiron Building sold at auction in New York City on Tuesday for $161m.
After a spirited bidding contest, the building’s current part-owner Jeffrey Gural secured the winning offer and promised to preserve the protected landmark.
“I’m a New Yorker, I own 40 other buildings. I’m not going to screw up my legacy,” the 80-year-old real estate mogul told The Independent after the auction.
The famed New York City landmark went under the hammer on the steps of the county courthouse in lower Manhattan after a judge ordered its sale in January to resolve a dispute between the building’s five owners.
At a previous auction held in March venture fund manager Jacob Garlick successfully bid $190m, after Mr Gural dropped out of the auction at $189.5.
Mr Garlick then failed to pay the 10 per cent downpayment, requiring a second auction to be held.
Mr Gural, who represented four out of the five building’s owners in litigation with the fifth owner Nathan Silverstein, would not be outbid for a second time.
Afterwards, he said the new owners would like to turn the protected historic landmark into apartments, due to the depressed Manhattan commercial real estate market.
“We need to decide which direction we’re going to go in. Originally we were going to go with all office space, and obviously it’s three years later and the office market is not great.
“So we’re thinking of either converting the upper half to apartments and keeping offices on the bottom, or converting the whole thing to apartments. The problem is you need a special permit to convert to residential.”
It would take about 18 months to complete the development, he said.
He said the Flatiron occupied a special place in the city’s cultural and architectural landscape.
“There are three iconic New York buildings, the Empire State, the Chrysler and the Flatiron Building,” he told reporters.
Repairs to the Flatiron’s limestone and terracotta facade had come to a standstill after the owner’s fell out over renovation costs and future use.
It has sat empty since its last tenant, Macmillan Publishing, moved out in 2019, and been encased in scaffolding for nearly four years.
Mr Gural told The Independent he hoped that the scaffolding would be removed within a few months.
Mr Gural previously said the building needed $100m in repair work.