Retail building (K2)
Sale price: $81,500,000 ($3,731/SF)
This was a sale transaction of real property located at 220 West 57th Street, between 7th Avenue and Broadway in Manhattan. It was the highest price per square foot achieved for a sale of a retail property in New York City on record for 2016 ($3,732/SF). Besen sold the building for a private family to a partnership between Thor Equities and General Growth Properties (GGP) in an off-market transaction orchestrated by the aforementioned brokerage team at Besen Partners, eleven years after making initial contact with the owners in 2005.
Originally constructed in 1929 as the Society House of the American Society of Civil Engineers, this landmarked property bears both architectural and historical significance. It consists of a 4-story, limestone-clad retail building with 75 feet of retail frontage and 21,837 usable square feet in the French Renaissance design. With retail and ultra-luxury residential continuing to push west on 57th Street, this block offered the potential to become a marquee retail location with the Nordstrom/Central Park Tower site under construction.
The seller owned and operated Lee’s Art Shop in the building, initially as a tenant in 1975, and later as the owner after buying the property in 1995. As 65-year old retailer and a fixture on 57th Street with the likes of Rizzoli and Steinway, selling the property signaled the end of an era for their business. Identifying a purchaser who would pay an unprecedented price and allow for highly favorable terms would make for what we what believe to be an ingenious deal. Thor and GGP had the foresight of knowing that Nordstrom was going to have their flagship department store directly across the street, which was a key motivation behind acquiring this property along with the evolution of 57th Street into “Billionaire’s Row.”