As Jekyll & Hyde prepares to leave Sixth Avenue flagship, building goes up for sale

By Sarabeth Sanders | May 17, 2011 12:37PM

Themed restaurant chain Jekyll & Hyde is moving out of its flagship club at 1409 Sixth Avenue later this year, and in the meantime, the landlord has put the building up for sale for $19.5 million.

The ornate, five-story property, between 57th and 58th streets, belongs to developer and Holocaust survivor Sam Domb, who owns both the Travel Inn and the Belvedere hotel in Midtown and the Lucerne hotel on the Upper West Side. Jekyll & Hyde currently occupies the entirety of its roughly 12,000 square feet, which is also being marketed for lease to single-tenant users for $600,000 per year by Newmark Knight Frank.

According to Alon Chadad, one of five co-founders of brand-new brokerage Blu Realty Group, he and his colleagues have been quietly marketing the property to buyers for the past two weeks.

“The owner doesn’t really have a need to sell it unless he gets his price,” Chadad said. “He doesn’t want to have to find a new tenant.” Domb declined to comment.

Jekyll & Hyde is in the process of relocating to Times Square’s former New York Times building at 229 West 44th Street and will be fully moved out of the Sixth Avenue building by the fourth quarter, Newmark’s Benjamin Birnbaum, who is co-listing the chain’s current space, confirmed. Last month, reports surfaced that a company with ties to Jekyll & Hyde Entertainment Group had leased 23,452 square feet in the building, where landlord Africa Israel USA has already brought in Bowlmor Lanes, the Times Square Discovery Center and Daffy’s. It’s still unclear whether this would be a new restaurant concept or an additional outpost for Jekyll & Hyde, but the latter now seems more likely.

The company also operates Jekyll & Hyde of Greenwich Village at 91 Seventh Avenue, the Slaughtered Lamb Pub at 182 West 4th Street and Oliver’s Bar & Grill at 190 West 4th Street, according to its website. Calls to Jekyll & Hyde Entertainment Group were not returned.

Birnbaum, who is listing Jekyll & Hyde’s flagship space along with Newmark’s Marc Frankel, said he is in talks with “a couple” of prospective tenants to take over 1409 Sixth Avenue. In addition to the $600,000 in annual rent, the landlord is asking $180,000 in yearly taxes.

“It’s a high-end area. It can be anything from a retailer, to a restaurant, to a lounge, to a private club, to even an embassy,” Birnbaum said. “All the theme restaurants are migrating toward Times Square, and Jekyll & Hyde was the last one there.”

As for the façade, the massive, ghoul-themed decorations that currently adorn it will probably go. “It’s not a landmark building,” Birnbaum said, noting that this is a branding opportunity for a new tenant.

Chadad said he and co-listing broker Moshe Balalo already have one interested buyer for the building, but declined to discuss the deal further so as not to “jinx” it.