The Real Deal New York

After Extell windfall, piano maker finds new West 58th St. home

August 28, 2013 03:47PM
By Hiten Samtani

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From left: 211 West 58th Street, Gary Barnett and 232 West 58th Street

From left: 211 West 58th Street, Gary Barnett and 232 West 58th Street

Things are certainly in tune for Carl Demler. After making a killing from Extell Development’s ambitions for a West 57th Street skyscraper, the owner of Beethoven Pianos has managed to stay put on Piano Row, paying about $8.65 million for a building just down the road from the property he sold to Gary Barnett, The Real Deal has learned.

In July, Extell paid Demler $25 million for the two-story, 4,000-square-foot building at 232 West 58th Street that was home to the piano store. The deal paved the way for Extell to move ahead with plans for 225 West 57th Street, an 88-story residential skyscraper that will stretch 1,550 feet, eclipsing the developer’s own One57, just down the street.

And now, Demler’s piano store will move to 211 West 58th Street, a five-story, 9,270-square-foot building which he bought from Benchmark Real Estate Group in a deal that closed today, Ronen Korin of Manhattan Connection, the sole broker on both deals, told The Real Deal.

It is unclear what Demler, who owned 232 West 58th Street for several years, originally paid for the property, but Korin indicated that it was a tiny fraction of how much he received from Extell.

“He was the last man standing for Extell,” Korin said.

Benchmark also made a tidy profit on the situation, having paid $6.5 million for the building this past June, city records show. The property has 16 residential units and 2,000 square feet of retail space, according to PropertyShark.

“Obviously you have to give [Benchmark] some profit to buy it from them so quickly,” Korin said, referring to Benchmark’s willingness to sell the property so soon after acquiring it. “They are value-add investors and they like to hold onto things. This was an exception.”

Benchmark’s co-founder Jordan Vogel declined to comment on the deal. Demler could not immediately be reached for comment about his intentions for the property.

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