The Real Deal New York

W Brothers buys building on UES’ Gold Coast for $37M

Retail rents correct, but buyers continue to snap up Madison Avenue properties
By Rich Bockmann | January 24, 2018 02:50PM

W Brothers Realty and their partners picked up a mixed-use building on Madison Avenue’s Gold Coast for $37 million from owners who had held the property for nearly 100 years.

The Midtown-based firm bought the five-story building at 766 Madison Avenue in partnership with the Bronx-based Altmark Group and the New Jersey-based Blenden Group, a representative for the new owners confirmed to The Real Deal.

The seller is a corporation controlled by estate-planning attorney James Rice. Public records show the corporation had owned the property since 1925.

“The market’s good, and we got a good offer,” Rice said.

There’s been some recent uptick in investment-sales activity on the high-street stretch of Madison Avenue between 57th and 72nd streets, despite the market correction in retail leasing.

Ralph Sitt’s Status Capital recently bought the retail condo at the Marquand for nearly $85 million, after chopping the asking price from $125 million.

The purchase price on W Brothers’ acquisition works out to just shy of $6,150 per square foot. The ground-floor retail portion of the building is occupied by the fine-minerals store Mardani, which has about five years left on its lease. The retailer reportedly inked an nearly nine-year lease for its 1,200-square-foot space in 2014 with an asking rent of $1,500 per square foot.

Average retail asking rents on that stretch of Madison were $1,286 per square foot during the third quarter, down nearly 9 percent from slightly more than $1,400 per square foot a year earlier, according to CBRE.

Jeremy Nazarian Itan Rahmani

Jeremy Nazarian and Itan Rahmani

Venture Capital Properties’ Jeremy Nazarian, who represented the buyers in the off-market deal with colleague Itan Rahmani, said that high-street retail with long-term contractual cash flows “continue to remain in high demand.”

W Brothers last year paid $26.8 million to buy the residential portion of 66 Pearl Street in the Financial District.