Soho’s Boom building sells for nearly $13M

Celebrity hotspot was forced to close after Hurricane Sandy, paving the way for new tenant

A Soho building previously occupied by hip celebrity dining den Boom has sold for $12.7 million, The Real Deal has learned. Boom, a wine bar and Soho mainstay, was forced to close its doors because of flooding due to Hurricane Sandy, said broker Peter Von Der Ahe, a vice president at Marcus & Millichap.

A private investor whose name was not disclosed purchased the retail space and two market rate apartments above it at 152 Spring Street, Von Der Ahe said. At $2,405 per square foot, the sale was the highest price paid per square foot for a mixed-use building in Soho since the Lehman Bros. crash, according to Marcus & Millichap’s research.

The space was on the market for about two months and attracted attention from both local potential investors and foreign buyers based in South America and the Middle East, Von Der Ahe said.

The property is ripe for re-positioning because, Von Der Ahe said, Boom was paying “significantly under-market rent.”

“Now you have real options with the property,” he added, as the triple net lease that the restaurant holds expires at the beginning of this year. The buyer may redevelop the four-story building, he said. Air rights were included in the sale.

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Former Boom owner Rocco Ancarola told the New York Post last November that  the cost to rebuild after the hurricane — upwards of $100,000 — in addition to rising rents had caused the restaurant — where the likes of Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola and Mick Jagger have reportedly been spotted — to shut. He also said the asking rent for the space had reached $50,000 per month.

Von Der Ahe added that the building and the area are an “investor’s dream,” as rents in Soho continue to rise, and investors continue to seek refuge for their cash in what they see as a safe bet. “You have literally no vacancy in the retail,” surrounding the address, he said.

The seller, identified as B&H Realty in city records, received the property via transfer in 1996. The property has not sold since before city records were filed electronically.

Von Der Ahe and his partner, Christopher Sjurset, represented both sides in the deal.