Toll Brothers ups investment in Flatiron with $69M buy

TRD New York /
Oct.October 16, 2013 12:24 PM

Fresh off its deal to buy the Flatiron District headquarters of a non-profit, Toll Brothers has inked a contract for another residential development site near Union Square — this one for $68.5 million, or $744 per buildable square foot, The Real Deal has learned.

The site, at 55 West 17th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, currently houses a six-story, 54,000-square-foot mixed-use office and retail building but could be converted or razed to make way for a 92,000-square-foot residential project. The seller of the property is landlord Mendel Mendlowits, whose family owns the famed Adorama camera retail store at 42 West 18th Street.

A Toll spokesperson declined to confirm the deal, but The Real Deal pieced together the transaction details from several industry sources. Mendlowits did not respond to a request for comment.

Aaron Jungreis’ Rosewood Realty Group marketed the site, according to an offering memorandum obtained by The Real Deal. It had been asking $75 million, the memo shows. Jungreis declined to comment on the deal or confirm that he had been involved.

Mendlowits acquired the property for $12 million in 2003, public records show. The landlord’s portfolio includes an Upper West Side rental complex at 201 West 92nd Street and 200 West 93rd Street as well as another prospective development assemblage at 45 West 17th Street.

National homebuilder Toll has been on somewhat of an acquisition spree over the last year. The company is in contract to buy the headquarters of the United Cerebral Palsy at 122-130 East 23rd Street, which allows for up to 200,000 square feet of residential development, as The Real Deal reported. Toll agreed to pay $150 million. The company is also sitting on two condo sites at 82 King Street in Hudson Square and 953-961 First Avenue in Midtown East.

Toll has yet to file building plans for the 17th Street site with the Department of Buildings, a review of records shows.

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