Hell’s Kitchen rental buildings sell for eye-popping $880 per buildable foot

By Adam Pincus | May 30, 2013 06:15PM

A modest five-story walk-up and an adjacent luxury rental in Hell’s Kitchen together sold for more than $880 per square foot, in what insiders said was of the highest prices ever paid in the neighborhood west of Times Square.

An anonymous buyer picked up the 15,200-square-foot 643-645 Ninth Avenue and the 6,694-square-foot 947 Ninth Avenue, for a combined $25.5 million on Tuesday, several people familiar with the deal said.

The $880 per square foot price took into account the total buildable square feet for the buildings, which is 28,974 square feet. If only the existing space is counted, the sale price per foot is even higher: $1,165 per foot.

Several real estate insiders considered the price an anomaly, and declined to comment on the record because they were not familiar with the deal. One of the more expensive sales in the area recently was the parking garage at 304 West 49th Street, which sold in January for $14 million, or $496 per square foot, information from commercial firm Massey Knakal Realty Services shows.

The larger building has 19 residential units and is home to the comfort food restaurant Southern Hospitality on the ground floor. The smaller building has four apartments and has the restaurant Ember Room on the ground floor, PropertyShark information shows.

The seller was a group headed by New York real estate investor Francesco Manica, according to Emilio Barletta, a broker with Arlet Realty, who represented the seller. He worked with Carol Ann Flint, an associate director at NGKF Capital Markets, on the deal. Through a spokesperson, Flint declined to comment.

The buyer was only identified as SPI 643-647 Ninth LLC, according to a person familiar with the sale.

The sellers are now looking for a place to invest their money.

“With their money, they want to roll it into a 1031 [tax exchange], so they are looking for more property to buy,” Barretta said, speaking on behalf of the seller.