Fishman Holdings plans high-end condo in Midtown East

<i>Israeli company acquires former site of building pulverized by 2008 crane collapse</i>

Israeli-based property investment firm Fishman Holdings closed on a 2,829-square-foot vacant development site on Second Avenue last week for $12 million, completing a five-month mission to assemble sufficient space to build a large, high-end condominium at the corner of 50th Street. Among the company’s procured spaces is the site of a former townhouse destroyed by a 2008 crane collapse.

Starting in July, the company, which has been busy planning a 19-story, 58-unit condo at 5 Franklin Place in Tribeca, assembled multiple development sites on 50th Street, including a 1,808-square-foot lot at 305 East 50th Street, where a crane’s mast pulverized the four-story building after it toppled 19 floors from an adjacent Midtown construction site.

A building of some historical significance, the former townhouse had at one time been the home of Richard Solomon Artists Representative, the agency of choice for illustrators who worked for the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, Time, Rolling Stone, Playboy and the New York Times. Up until Fishman bought it for $1.65 million, the site was owned by Jean Squeri, the daughter of two late restaurateurs who operated an eatery at the site in the 1940s.

The other building most recently purchased by Fishman, at 944 Second Avenue, was formerly owned by Issembert Companies, a New York City-based real estate investment and brokerage firm.

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Plans for the condo are still in early stages, according to Mor, who said it was premature to talk about the number of units or prices that the building would be asking. He did confirm, however, that Fishman has tapped architecture firm Cook + Fox to design the building, and Douglas Elliman Development Marketing to head up sales.

A spokesperson for Elliman was not immediately available for comment. Cook + Fox declined to comment, referring any questions back to Fishman.

While assembling land for construction can often prove a challenge in today’s market, Mor said it had been a stress-free process for Fishman.

“We found the process was relatively simple,” he said.

Construction at the site is slated to commence towards the end of 2012, he predicted, with a 2014 completion date.