The auction of the famous “Flatiron” skyscraper has failed

The auction last week of an iconic building in New York (USA), the “Flatiron”, failed after the buyer did not pay his advance on the 190 million dollars he owed pay out, the auction firm said on Thursday. This building, which has been completely empty since 2019, with its particular architecture from the beginning of the 20th century, was in principle awarded on March 22 to an investor, under an order from the New York courts to settle a dispute between its owners.

But this financier, Jacob Garlick, of the Abraham Trust fund, who had been delighted to realize his “dream since the age of 14”, did not pay the 19 million dollars in advance by March 24. , confirmed auctioneer Matthew Mannion of auction company Mannion Auctions. The latter assured not to know the reasons for this renunciation, nor if the “Flatiron” would return, as it was planned during the sale, to a second bidder, Jeff Gural, representing 75% of the owners. He had offered $189.5 million. “If I have to risk a prediction, I think he will wait for a second auction,” the auctioneer wrote to AFP.

Disagreement between owners

The “Flatiron Building” is a 22-story, 87-meter high office building located in Midtown Manhattan, at the crossroads of 22nd Street, 5th Avenue and Broadway. Its pointed shape, in “Iron”, recognizable among all and which gave it its name, is explained by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, the only artery in Manhattan not aligned with the rectilinear plan of the island. . Built in two years and completed in 1902, the “Flatiron” was built by an architect from the Chicago School, Daniel Burnham, in the Beaux-Arts style, like many New York buildings, such as the huge Grand Central.

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Jeff Gural had estimated at “100 million dollars” the renovation of the “Iron”, empty since the departure in 2019 of the last tenant, the publisher MacMillan Publishers. The five owners were never able to agree on its renovation, nor on its use. Four real estate companies – GFP Real Estate, Newmark, ABS Partners Real Estate and the Sorgente group – control it at 75%. The fifth partner, Nathan Silverstein, holds the remaining 25%. In 2021, the four companies sued Silverstein, accusing him of abandoning the “Flatiron”. Silverstein fought back in a New York court claiming they wanted to lease the building below market. The municipal justice had summoned the five owners to sell at auction.

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