A billionaire South America playboy is in contract to purchase 5 East 59th Street, an office building once home to Hugh Hefner’s famed Playboy Club, sources familiar with the transaction told The Real Deal today. Both the leasehold and the fee for the property, held by TriState Equities and a Greek individual respectively, traded in the deal, which was valued at $42 million, the sources said. No brokers were involved in the transaction, which was confirmed by multiple people, but denied by Morris Missry of TriState Equities.
The nine-story building, which totals 38,052 square feet, was formerly used as the New York City franchise of Hefner’s Playboy nightclubs; opened in 1962, it was one of 40 in an international chain, which also included clubs in Miami, Chicago and New Orleans. Access to the club, which was recently portrayed in an episode of 1960s television drama “Mad Men,” was granted only to keyholders, who had a real key decorated with the Playboy bunny logo.
The deal is expected to close next week, sources said.
An LLC named 5 East 59 Realty Holding Company, headed by fur mogul Alexandros Demetriades, took title to the property in 1998, according to public records. It was not immediately clear when TriState Equities, a New York-based real estate investment and development firm headed by Missry and Joseph Edery, had taken the leasehold for the building. Missry denied that any transaction was in the works, saying only that the fee holder had received several offers. Demetriades could not be reached for comment.
The Italian restaurant Bottega del Vino, the New York City branch of a wine bar based in Verona, Italy, currently occupies the ground floor retail space at the property. A spokesperson for Bottega said the restaurant was not aware of the sale of the building.
The building is also home to the office of real estate mogul Elie Hirschfeld’s Hirschfeld Properties. Hirschfeld said he was aware that the building has been sold but declined to comment further.