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Greek hedge funders look to sell the Fine Arts Building

Property Markets / Transactions

United States of America

May 24 2017

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Mark Maurer

A group of Greek hedge funders is putting the Fine Arts Building in Midtown on the market, sources told The Real Deal.

The seven-story, 58,000-square-foot property at 232 East 59th Street is not a typical office building. It’s home to 12 showrooms for mostly architecture and design firms, with floorplates averaging 8,600 square feet.

Sources familiar with the building said it is expected to sell for $60 million, or close to $1,000 per square foot.

Tenants at the Fine Arts Building include the Chinese Porcelain Company, Bennison, Bunny Williams Home, Gerald Bland and Janus et Cie. Asking rents average $75 per square foot. The building is 94 percent occupied.

The Greek businessmen and philanthropists, who control the entity Fine Arts New York LLC, acquired the building for $34 million in 2013 from the Battaglia family, records show.

The cast-iron property was constructed in the early 1900s as a carriage house for Bloomingdale’s, and was then converted to showrooms in 1962.

A Colliers International team led by Richard Baxter, Stephen Shapiro and Jason Gold is handling the sale. They declined to comment, and the owners could not be immediately reached.

Baxter and two other senior investment sales brokers left JLL in December to run the New York investment sales operation at Colliers. Two other brokers on the JLL team joined them in January. Since the move, Colliers also won the assignment for Aion Partners’ 115,000-square-foot retail-and-office condominium at 86 Chambers Street in Tribeca.

The building, located between Second and Third avenues, is close to the D&D Building at 979 Third Avenue and the A&D Building at 150 East 58th Street – both showroom-centric spaces but with larger floorplates.

Elsewhere on East 59th Street, GreenOak Real Estate and partners paid $85 million, or $1,400 per buildable square foot, for the former Playboy Club-anchored building at 5 East 59th Street in 2015 and Princeton International Property and its partners paid $170 million, or $1,000 per square foot, for the office building at 111 East 59th Street, also in 2015.

SOURCE: The Real Deal

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