Caerus buys Midtown office building from Brause for $52M

10-story, 55K sf property was set to see 60% of tenant leases expire this year

10 East 34th Street
10 East 34th Street in Midtown (inset, from left: Leo Tsimmer and David Brause)

UPDATED, 8:45 p.m., Feb. 29: Leo Tsimmer’s Caerus Group acquired a 10-story Midtown office building from Brause Realty for $51.7 million, or about $940 per square foot, according to property records filed with the city Monday.

Caerus, a Midtown-based firm real estate investment firm, closed on its purchase of the 55,000-square foot property at 10 East 34th Street, between Fifth and Madison avenues, on Feb. 16.

Caerus confirmed the deal, saying in a statement that it “intends to reposition the asset as a boutique 60,000-square-foot office building.” The company noted the property’s “high-ceiling, floor-through office lofts” as features that make it “particularly appealing to media, technology and showroom tenants.”

Brause tapped a Cushman & Wakefield team led by Bob Knakal last June to market the office property, where about 60 percent of the leases were due to expire at the start of this year.

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In the marketing materials, the looming vacancies at 10 East 34th Street were depicted as a positive — allowing prospective landlords an opportunity to capitalize on rising Manhattan office rents and offering the potential of a residential or hotel conversion.

Neither Brause nor Cushman & Wakefield returned requests for comment.

Caerus previously entered contract to acquire a nearby office building at 4 East 34th Street, which formerly served as the Zionist Organization of America’s headquarters. Tsimmer’s firm also partnered with Samson Klugman’s Quality Capital to acquire a pair of mixed-use East Village buildings for $60 million in August.

Brause, a Midtown-based, family-run firm, recently secured a $105 million construction loan for its new 270-unit apartment building in Long Island City. The company is co-developing the project with the Gotham Organization.