Manocherians’ Pan-Am buys UES commercial condos for $48M

Equinox, SoulCycle have long-term leases for space at base of Barbizon 63

140 East 63rd Street and Bob Knakal
140 East 63rd Street and Bob Knakal

Pan-Am Equities, owned by members of the prominent Manocherian family, paid $48.2 million for two commercial condominiums on the Upper East Side, according to property records filed with the city today. The commercial condos, located at 140 East 63rd Street near Lexington Avenue, total about 45,000 square feet of space. They are currently leased to popular fitness establishments Equinox and SoulCycle, which have about eight years left on their leases.

The seller was Philadelphia-based private equity fund real estate manager Equus Capital Partners. “Our plan is to buy, reposition and sell – that’s part of our process,” said Christopher Locatell, an executive at Equus.

Massey Knakal Realty Services’ Bob Knakal and Clint Olsen represented Equus.

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“The popularity of retail condominiums have been growing,” said Knakal, “and these assets have historically performed extraordinarily well.”

The Manocherians are among the Persian families – such as the Elghanayans and the Kalimians — who rose to prominence in New York real estate during the 1970s. A representative for Pan-Am Equities wasn’t immediately available for comment.

The 140 East 63rd Street site was formerly the Barbizon Hotel for Women, which was known as a safe haven for women seeking their fortune in New York. It counted Grace Kelly and Joan Didion among its residents, and it was well-known for its rigid rules including one that banned men above the lobby floor, according to the New York Times.

Equus bought the site in 2001 and continued to operate the property as a hotel until 2005. The PE firm then converted it into Barbizon 63, a 70-unit luxury residential condo building with the two commercial condos at the base. There is one residential condo left at the building, Locatell said, a penthouse that will be marketed in the $15 million range.