NY Public Library sells Fifth Avenue office space for $38M

Library bought the properties in 2014; will move staff into newly leased space elsewhere in Midtown

New York /
Oct.October 01, 2021 04:05 PM

Anthony Marx (CEO, New York Public Library) & a view of 445 Fifth Avenue (streeteasy.com, Getty Images, iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)

Perhaps taking a page from its own playbook, the New York Public Library has decided it’s better to borrow than own.

The library sold six commercial condo units at 445 Fifth Avenue for $38 million to Stream Line LLC, according to city records. The library purchased the space, a block south of its flagship Bryant Park branch, in 2014 for use by its back-office staff.

“The Library received favorable terms,” said Iris Weinshall, NYPL’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “The funding will go towards supporting the operations — including programs, staff, and collections — of the institution.”

The staff located at the condos will be moved to other Midtown buildings, including recently leased space, according to a library spokesperson.

The library bought eight commercial condos at 445 Fifth Avenue in 2014 for $34.5 million from the Church Pension Group, a financial services provider for the Episcopal Church. It had started leasing space at the building a year prior.

The library sold two of its floors in the building in 2019 for over $21 million, funds that contributed to the expansion of its main branch, according to a library spokesperson.

The 33-story building also includes residential condos and retail space.

In 2015, Harbor Group bought the retail portion from Thor Equities for $68 million. A lender is now seeking to foreclose on the space, alleging that Harbor Group missed payments on a $40 million loan.





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