Planned Tribeca residential conversion returns to commercial use

November 02, 2011 01:52PM

177 Franklin Street
Though the trend in Tribeca has been converting old commercial space into brand new condominiums, the buyer of 177 Franklin Street is taking the opposite approach. According to the Wall Street Journal, the parent company of clothing retailer Steven Alan paid $14.5 million for the 12,000-square-foot building intended for residential use, and will turn it into a store, below Steven Alan showrooms and offices.

Bedrock Brands, the Texas-based company that purchased the building, will use the retail space to relaunch its once-famous brand of shoe polish Shinola. Bedrock is owned by Tom Kartsotis, the founder of fashion brand Fossil.

Maria Pashby, a senior vice president at the Corcoran Group, had been marketing the 120-year-old building as a single mansion.

Retailers are becoming more enamored with retail condominiums to protect from landlord disputes, the Journal said, but this was an unusual deal. The $14.5 million Bedrock paid was substantially more than the $9 million the same building sold for in a transaction that closed four months ago.

However, that price tag was the result of a distressed sale by Glad Tidings Tabernacle, a church group that paid $11.55 million for it in 2008 and poured millions into an extensive renovation. The $9 million buyers, an LLC named 177 Franklin Street Developments that is affiliated with architect Michael Kirchmann, had intended to turn it into a four-bedroom apartment, before changing their mind and selling it. As The Real Deal previously reported, Kirchmann initially listed it for $18 million in June. [WSJ]