Vulcan pays $93M for NYPL’s commercial condo at 188 Madison

The building houses CUNY's Graduate Center

188 Madison Avenue and Microsoft's Paul Allen (credit: Facebook)
188 Madison Avenue and Microsoft's Paul Allen (credit: Facebook)

The New York Public Library sold off a commercial condominium at its Midtown branch at 188 Madison Avenue to Seattle-based Vulcan Real Estate for $93 million, property records show.

The thirteen-story building, which has an alternate address of 365 Fifth Avenue, comprises the entire block between Fifth and Madison avenues, and 34th and 35th streets. It houses both the CUNY Graduate Center on the Fifth Avenue side, and the public library’s Science, Industry and Business branch on Madison Avenue.

The library acquired the 885,000-square-foot building, which was formerly a B. Altman department store, in 1993. It was divided into four condo units in 2012, and the library sold a five-floor office condo in the building to the Church Pension Fund in 2012 for $60.8 million.

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Vulcan’s unit is roughly 100,000 square feet and comprises the three floors used by the Science, Industry and Business branch. Representatives for Vulcan weren’t immediately available for comment. A spokesperson for the library said the Science, Industry and Business branch would relocate to the mid-Manhattan branch at 455 Fifth Avenue after a renovation there is completed.

Vulcan, which is active in Seattle and is led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, branched out to Los Angeles earlier this year with the $40 million purchase of Hollywood’s Redbury Hotel from Pebblebrook Hotel Trust.