Morris Moinian’s Fortuna pays $18M for Midtown buildings

Estate of late real estate tycoon Norman Levy the seller

From left: Morris Moinian, 24-28 West 39th Street and Robert Shapiro
From left: Morris Moinian, 24-28 West 39th Street and Robert Shapiro

Developer Fortuna Realty Group bought two Midtown West buildings totaling 30,000 square feet for $18.3 million in an off-market deal, according to property records filed with the city today.

The properties are a six-story, 10,800-square-foot property at 24 West 39th Street, and a five-story, 19,600-square-foot property at 26-28 West 39th Street. Both are office buildings with ground-floor retail, including Elite Day Spa, between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

The seller was the estate of late real estate tycoon Norman Levy, said City Center Real Estate CEO Robert Shapiro, who represented both sides in the deal.

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In October, Fortuna picked up air rights from several neighboring buildings — 25 West 38th Street, 27 West 38th Street and 30 West 39th Street – for a total of $2 million, property records show.

But in a contrast with Fortuna founder Morris Moinian’s history of razing new acquisitions and building a hotel, he said he has no development plans for the site. He noted he intends to renovate the two buildings and rent out the vacant units.

“I will spin off the development rights and use them on 38th Street after transferring them,” Moinian told The Real Deal.

Moinian filed suit against HNY Inc., owner of Cuban-themed eatery Havana NY, in October, alleging that the tenant’s refusal to leave had delayed the development of a 175-room hotel at 27 West 38th Street, as The Real Deal reported. Fortuna is also behind Hotel Hugo at 525 Greenwich Street and the upcoming hotel at 1150 Sixth Avenue, the latter of which will be built after two mid-rise properties are demolished.