Solow’s 9 West tower nearly half-vacant

April 02, 2010 10:08AM

Nearly half the Central Park views at storied office tower 9 West 57th Street are going to waste. Approximately 24 of the 50 floors in Sheldon Solow’s prized building — the namesake for shoe retailer and former tenant Nine West — sit vacant, including the top three, sources told the Wall Street Journal, and many say the billionaire developer is to blame. Solow has not reduced rents in the building amid plummeting commercial real estate prices across the city, asking around $200 a foot for the highest floors, while nearby buildings are down 18 percent from a year ago to $79 a foot. Another possible culprit, industry experts say: Solow’s legal tangles. Two years ago, the Wall Street Journal notes that Bank of America, his largest tenant, left its 14 floors at the building for its own new tower after Solow tried and failed to evict the company on the grounds that it was using the space for criminal activity. Solow is reportedly in poor health and has turned his business over to his son, Stefan, and an outside consultant, who hired CB Richard Ellis to handle leasing in the building. [WSJ]

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