17 months later, Caerus closes on ex-Zionist Organization HQ

Investor’s $38M purchase was delayed by ex-retail tenants’ litigation

4 East 34th Street in Murray Hill (inset: Leo Tsimmer)
4 East 34th Street in Murray Hill (inset: Leo Tsimmer)

People say good things come to those who wait, but for a real estate closing, 17 months seems like a long time.

Leo Tsimmer’s Caerus Group finally closed Thursday on its $38.2 million purchase of the former Zionist Organization of America headquarters building, at 4 East 34th Street in Midtown, the Commercial Observer reported.

The investor went into contract on the five-story, 29,000-square-foot property – which holds an additional 52,300 square feet of air rights – in December 2014. At the time, Caerus planned to build a condominium building on the site featuring a retail component at the base. Tsimmer told Commercial Observer only that he plans to reposition the building.

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Caerus also bought additional air rights from properties surrounding 4 East 34th Street, as The Real Deal previously reported. All told, the company paid around $70 million to $80 million for the building and the additional rights.

The deal’s closing was delayed by litigation brought against the Zionist Organization by a former retail tenant at the property, B. Boman & Co, operator of women’s clothing retailer Bolton’s.

Earlier this year, Caerus picked up the adjacent Ditson Building at 10 East 34th Street from Brause Realty, paying $51.7 million in an all-cash deal. [CO]Ariel Stulberg