Guttman and Schwartz’s Midtown West plan is kaput

Sanford Plotkin's Avon Development Enterprises bought one property at the site for $23 million in late August
By Ariel Stulberg | September 09, 2015 02:26PM

Jack Guttman and Steve Schwartz have all but abandoned plans to assemble land for a $300 million, 240,000-square-foot television production complex on the West Side Highway at 51st and 52nd streets, the Real Deal has learned.

The developers had contracts or options on all the properties on the block, including Larry Flint’s Hustler Club at 641 West 51st Street. But when the pair failed the find an anchor tenant willing to take 35,000 square feet in the the planned complex, which was to be called 630 West 52nd Street, the developers were forced to throw in more money to hold the options.

“That began to get expensive,” said Alan Weisman, executive managing director of Lee and Associates, who represented the pair in their dealings with landowners and who would have become the project’s leasing agent.

“We came close on three or four occasions, but the deal never got signed. Finally the landowners got a little weary – what Jack Guttman called ‘deal weary’ – and the sellers moved on,” Weisman said.

One of the potential sellers, Whitehall Storage, owner of 631 West 51st Street, next door to the Hustler Club, inked a deal late last month with Sanford Plotkin’s Avon Development Enterprises, agreeing to part with the four-story printing storage facility for $23 million.

Weisman represented both Plotkin and Whitehall in the deal.

He said Plotkin has already secured a tenant for the building’s lower two floors along with the basement. The tenant plans to move into the building in January. Weisman represented Plotkin in that deal as well.

The building’s upper two floors are on currently on the market.

Wiesman said Guttman and Schwartz’s plan will be shelved for “a minimum of 10 years.”