By: Ellen Cans
The beloved Flatiron Building, at 175 Fifth Ave., finally has its future mapped out, following a second court ordered auction.
As reported by Crain’s NY, a court-ordered auction was held, essentially to buyout shares belonging to co-owner Nathan Silverstein. The Flatiron Building was sold for $161 million at the May 23 auction. Now the other owners will be able to carry out their plans of adding residential condos to the higher floors of the 21-story tower, while keeping office space at the lower floors. Mr. Silverstein had been opposing these plans, which had led to dispute between the owners. “We accomplished our goal, ending our relationship with Nathan Silverstein,” said Jeff Gural, the chairman of GFP Real Estate, one of three real-estate firms which now control the building. The Flatiron is co-owned by Sorgente Group of America and ABS Real Estate Partners. Gural added that the building is in good hands and no that no dramatic changes are on the horizon for the site. “New Yorkers don’t have to worry,” he said.
Per Crain’s, the landmark three-sided building is a steel framed building first completed in 1902, with design by Daniel Burnham and Frederick P. Dinkelberg.
Perched between Broadway and East 22nd Street, the historic triangular building was nicknamed “Flatiron”, then having the district named after the building. A survey in 2023 revealed that the Flatiron Building was the fourth-most-loved building in the country. The building has also been called “one of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers and a quintessential symbol of New York City”, per Wikipedia. The building was owned collectively by five parties– four of them, including GFP,controled a 75% stake, while the other 25% was owned by Mr. Silverstein.
At an earlier auction in March 2023, the building went up for sale to simplify its complicated ownership structure, since the owners couldn’t agree on renovations to be made in the building. As previously reported by the Jewish Voice, Abraham Trust, a small Virginia company who did not previously own a stake in the building, had won the auction, bidding $190 million, beating out another close offer of $189.5 million from the GFP-aligned group.
The company, led by investor Jacob Garlick, however, failed to pay the $19 million required deposit. GFP Real Estate sued Abraham Trust for what the company alleged was a “fraudulent bid,” and for failure to follow up with the deposit. A second auction was scheduled for May 23rd, at New York County Courthouse for the court-appointed referee in the case to resell the wedge-shaped tower. At this auction, the majority owners group, which includes Gural, Newmark, Sorgente Group, and ABS Partners, purchased full control of the building with a winning bid of $161 million, as per Crain’s.