NYC's famous Flatiron Building that's been empty for years could get a new start with potential $190 million sale
- The historic Flatiron Building went to a court-mandated auction Wednesday.
- Investor Jacob Garlick cast the winning bid of $190 million, but he hasn't submitted the required 10% deposit, NY1 reported.
The Flatiron Building is one of New York City's most recognizable structures — and it could have a new owner after an auction earlier in March drew a bid of $190 million.
Still, investor Jacob Garlick — who cast the winning bid — hadn't submitted the required 10% deposit that was due by the end of the day Friday, NY1 reported. The news outlet said Garlick also hadn't responded to its request for comment as of Monday.
Now, the famed building could go to the second-highest bidder, NY1 reported, citing the terms of the deal. But real estate investor Jeffrey Gural, who already owns part of the building, told The Real Deal on Tuesday that he and a group of investors wouldn't exercise their option to buy the entire thing. They had placed the No. 2 bid at $189.5 million, The Real Deal reported.
That means the building's future still appears up in the air. And another auction could be in the cards, The Real Deal said.
In the auction earlier this month that had been ordered by the New York Supreme Court, investor Garlick outbid the building's current owners and other big names in real estate with his $190 million offer, Smithsonian Magazine reported.
In that auction, dozens of onlookers gathered in Manhattan to watch the historic building go on the block with an opening bid of $50 million.
"It's been (a) lifelong dream of mine since I'm 14 years old. I've worked every day of my life to be in this position," Garlick, managing partner at firm Abraham Trust, told NY1 on March 22. "We are honored to be a steward of this historic building, and it will be our life's mission to preserve its integrity forever."
The Flatiron Building was completed in the summer of 1902 at 175 Fifth Avenue, and has become an iconic tourist attraction for visitors of New York City. It's known for its triangular shape where the tip of the structure is as narrow as six feet wide.
But more recently, its interior has been of little use as its previous owners struggled to agree on what renovations and the building's future should look like, Smithsonian Magazine and other publications reported.
According to NY1, its last office tenants left four years ago, and the previous owners spent around $100 million reducing the building's carbon footprint and modernizing the landmark.
One witness to the auction, real estate broker Tom Brady, told NY1 that the sale was an "iconic moment." The last time the building went up for public auction was in 1933, and it sold for $100,000, according to a New York Times report.
"Look, you're talking about one of the most famous buildings in the world — iconic," Brady said. "One of the most photographed manmade structures in the entire world, and I think it's kudos to the new owner."
It's unclear what Garlick had planned for the 22-story building — or whether he'll even end up taking possession.
Correction: March 28, 2023 — An earlier version of this story didn't make clear that investor Jacob Garlick hadn't submitted the required 10% deposit by the end of business on Friday; that makes the sale uncertain. Also, an earlier version of the story misinterpreted a comment from investor Jeffrey Gural in The Real Deal about the potential future cost of the building. That paragraph has been removed.
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