Mitchell Holdings buys Herald Square Hotel for $39M

Eight-story property was home to Life magazine until 1936

From left: 19-21 West 31st Street, Robert Skinner and David Mitchell
From left: 19-21 West 31st Street, Robert Skinner and David Mitchell

David Mitchell’s Mitchell Holdings picked up the Herald Square Hotel from the Puchall family for roughly $38.5 million, sources told The Real Deal.

The eight-story, 38,000-square-foot property at 19-21 West 31st Street, Between Broadway And Fifth Avenue, holds 96 hotel rooms. The Puchall family owned and operated the hotel since 1970. The Beaux-Arts building, however, is perhaps best known for housing the offices of Life magazine, from 1894 to 1936.

Mitchell Holdings is expected to continue to operate the property as a hotel, sources familiar with the deal said.

Rutenberg Realty NY’s Robert Skinner represented the seller, while StarBridge Commercial’s Peter Kim, who was at Tri-State Hanmi Realty at the time of the deal, represented the buyer.

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Investor David Puchall and his son Abraham Puchall had been selling off the family’s real estate assets, concluding with this final property, Skinner said. But, during negotiations for the Herald Square Hotel, David died at age 92, Skinner said.

“After his death, this was a shaky deal,” Skinner told TRD. “It had a lot of moving parts. The family put a lot of love into this building, but they were eager to get out.”

Mitchell Holdings developed the condominium conversion of the Whitman, near Madison Square Park. Residents of the Whitman include Jennifer Lopez and Chelsea Clinton.

It was not immediately clear whether Mitchell was related to Life’s founding editor, John Ames Mitchell.

Elsewhere in Herald Square, Hidrock Realty has sold its controlling interest in a 16-story Courtyard by Marriott hotel in April, as TRD reported.