Emmes buys Noho building for $40M on behalf of pension fund

Once the home of a haunted house, property now positioned for TAMI tenants
By Katherine Clarke | August 22, 2013 02:29PM

Commercial real estate owner Emmes Asset Management has acquired a mixed-use Noho building on behalf of one of its U.S. pension fund clients, a spokesperson for the company told The Real Deal today.

The 37,869-square-foot property, at 623 Broadway, traded in an off-market deal for approximately $40 million, they said. No brokers were involved in the transaction. Emmes declined to identify the pension fund with which it was working.

The previous owner, Ise Realty Group, had owned the property since 1993. Its principal, Charles Lawrence, was not immediately available for comment.

The 37,869-square-foot building, between Houston and Bleecker streets, is 95 percent occupied. Its retail space is leased by a branch of Chase Bank, while its office space is home to a location of Kaplan International Center, an English language school, according to data from CoStar.

The building is also the former home of one of Manhattan’s most famed haunted house simulators. From late September through mid-November, the property used to be converted into a nightmare inn with spooky installations to scare both tourists and locals. The Haunted House moved elsewhere after the property was converted to offices, said Dan Kobin, an events broker who used to book the space on behalf of temporary tenants.

“The Property Is Situated On A Through Lot With Frontage On Both Broadway And Mercer Street, an invaluable advantage for retail tenants,” said Bill Bond, a senior vice president at Emmes. “The [building’s] floor plates make it ideal for future leasing to emerging tech, creative and retail firms that desire a full-floor identity in an exciting neighborhood.”

Emmes has been active both buying and selling in recent months. The company is in contract to buy the 24-story Lower Manhattan office building at 180 Water Street from Melohn Properties for approximately $154 million and recently purchased a Midtown office property at 158 West 27th Street for $57.5 million.

Meanwhile, Emmes has unloaded a chunk of its Upper East Side and Harlem portfolios to a partnership headed by Ashkenazy Acquisitions this year. In total, Ashkenazy has paid approximately $90 million for a handful of its properties, including those at 21 East 62nd Street, 1042 Madison Avenue and 300 West 145th Street, The Real Deal previously reported.