The Real Deal New York

Sotheby’s nixes plan to sell East Side HQ

Auction house calls off search for new location
By Rich Bockmann | November 14, 2016 04:26PM

1334 York Ave

1334 York Ave

No bid calling here! The auction house Sotheby’s has taken its East Side headquarters off the block, simultaneously scrapping its search for a new for a new headquarters.

Earlier this year, the famed auction house was scouring the city for a new home as it weighed the possibility of selling the 490,000-square-foot building it owns and occupies at 1334 York Avenue between East 71st and 72nd streets.

But the board of directors decided to pull the plug on a possible sale last week after potential buyers submitted their bids, sources told The Real Deal. Sotheby’s relocation to a new headquarters was always contingent upon selling its property, so with no sale the auction house is staying put.

“We’ve spent months examining this decision from both a business and financial point of view and, at the end of the day, we concluded our best option along both of these dimensions is to stay where we are,” company CFO Mike Gross wrote in a statement to TRD.

Sotheby’s search for a new office – headed by JLL’s Peter Riguardi – gave consideration to the Hudson Yards area. But the company wanted to stay close to its clientele on the East Side, sources said, and had checked out properties like Boston Properties’ 399 Park Avenue and the 130,000-square-foot office-and-retail portion of Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue.

The decision to scuttle the move is reminiscent of 2013, when Sotheby’s was searching the market as it considered selling its building, but ultimately decided to stay put.