LeFrak, Vornado give historic bookstore the boot for new tower

From left: 40 West 57th Street, inside Rizzoli Bookstore
From left: 40 West 57th Street, inside Rizzoli Bookstore

The LeFrak real estate family and Vornado Realty Trust are planning to demolish three limestone mansions on West 57th Street in Midtown, one of which has housed Rizzoli Bookstore for 29 years.

It wasn’t clear whether the development that will take Rizzoli’s place will be a residential or commercial tower, but LeFrak and Vornado will help the bookstore find a new home, according to a report from the New York Times. Still, city conservationists are up in arms over losing the buildings.

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“It’s sad if we also lose those three homes, which were converted to commercial uses decades ago,” Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, told the Times. “There will be very little left on 57th Street that shows how it used to be.”

In recent years, 57th Street has become a hotbed of residential development, with skyscrapers like Extell Development’s One57 and JDS Development’s Planned 107 West 57th Street capitalizing on the spectacular Central Park views they can achieve at a certain height.

The bookstore sits on a 27-by-100-foot, 2,711-square-foot lot at 31 West 57th Street near Fifth Avenue, according to Property Shark. LeFrak and Vornado bought the building in 2006 for $24.6 million, according to city records. [NYT] — Angela Hunt