Ark Partners keeps cashing in on Midtown in $60M deal

Solly Assa back in action with purchase of two West 55th Street rental buildings
By Hiten Samtani | November 22, 2013 12:40PM

Solly Assa’s Assa Properties has paid $60 million for two adjacent Midtown rental buildings owned by Ark Partners, city records show. If demolished, the two West 55th Street lots would allow for a residential development of up to 100,000 square feet.

Assa paid $24 million for 19-21 West 55th Street, a 31,000-square-foot, nine-story building with 29 residential units and 3,000 square feet of retail space located between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The developer also forked out $36 million for neighboring 15-17 West 55th Street, a nine-story 56,005-square-foot building with 36 residential units and 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Ark bought the two buildings in 2007 for $52 million, city records show.

Ark’s president, John Yoon, confirmed the sale to The Real Deal, but declined to comment further except to say, “Why does anyone sell?”

Representatives for Assa Properties couldn’t be reached by press time, and it was unclear which brokers were involved in the transaction, which closed on Nov. 20.

Ark has been cashing in on its holdings in the neighborhood, which is white-hot with projects such as Extell Development’s One57 and 225 West 57th Street, as well as TF Cornerstone’s 606 West 57th Street, slated to be New York’s largest single apartment building with 1,189 units.

In September, Ark sold the Viceroy Hotel at 120 West 57th Street for $148.5 million to American Realty Capital, the real estate investment trust that has been one of the market’s hungriest players in recent months.

Assa Properties has been quiet in recent years, but in 2011 sold the hotel portion of its bankrupt Cassa Hotel and Residences at West 45th Street for $130 million to an international investor.