Massey Knakal, now Cushman & Wakefield, arranged the
sale and financing of a historic landmark building at 281 Park Avenue South, on the southeast corner of 22nd
Street and Park Avenue South in Manhattan.
The property was sold in an
all-cash transaction valued at $50,000,000 in December, 2014. The
transaction was handled by John
Ciraulo, Robert M. Shapiro and
Craig Waggner of Cushman & Wakefield and Howard Poretsky and Patrick
Gardner of Savills Studley. A
non-recourse loan of $40 million with a 3-year term was arranged by Scott Aiese
of Cushman & Wakefield.
The property served as the headquarters for The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
(FPWA) since 1963. The six-story plus cellar and attic building contains
approximately 32,000 above grade square feet and sits on an 80’ x 70’
lot. This magnificent steel-framed building, with its light-hued terra
cotta stone façade was added to the National Register of Historic Places in
1982. The last major restoration and renovation took place in 1991 and
included renovating the copper and terra-cotta roof, uncovering marble mosaic
floors and plaster ornamentation, restoring wood entry doors, wood wainscoting,
and stained-glass windows. The cast iron architecture is featured
throughout the building, offering expansive lofts with high ceilings ranging
from 11.5’ to over 20’ and enormous windows allowing tremendous amounts of
natural light to pour in. The building also benefits from approximately
150 feet of wraparound frontage ideal for retail in a high traffic location on
a premiere corner. It is conveniently located just a short walk from
Madison Square Park, Gramercy Park, and Union Square, as well as many of
Manhattan’s top rated restaurants, fashionable retailers, and high-end
residential neighborhoods. The sale
price equates to approximately $1,562 per square foot.
The property was purchased by RFR Holding LLC a Manhattan based, privately controlled real
estate investment, development and management company founded in 1991 by Aby
Rosen and Michael Fuchs. RFR has built a world-class portfolio of commercial
and residential real estate, including many of New York’s signature office
towers, ultra-luxury condominiums, hotels and high-end retail developments.
The attorney for the seller was Andrew L. Herz, Esq. of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, LLP
and the attorney for the buyer was Matthew
Danow, Esq. of Katsky Korins LLP.
“This property presents the purchaser an ideal opportunity
for a single tenant office building, a high-end retailer, restaurant, showroom
or a high-profile flagship headquarters,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s John F. Ciraulo. “We were delighted to
assist in the reinvestment and growth of FPWA, one of New York City’s premier
social service support organizations,” added Robert M. Shapiro.
“The bank financing provided RFR with the optimal time to
reposition and lease the building, allowing the organization to convert this
iconic structure from its current condition to one that is state of the
art. It will act as the flagship location for world-class tenants,” said
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Agents: John Ciraulo, Robert Shapiro, Scott Aiese