385 First Ave requiring Bitcoin for retail condo sales

Three retail condos in Gramercy Park property ask $29M

385 First Avenue and Ben Shaoul (Google Maps, Getty)
385 First Avenue and Ben Shaoul (Google Maps, Getty)

Three retail condominiums at 385 First Avenue are up for sale for $29 million. There’s just one catch: only Bitcoin will be accepted.

Magnum Real Estate Group is selling the property — also known as CODA — in partnership with brokerage Meridian Investment Sales and Bitpay, a cryptocurrency payment service, which will process the transaction.

The condos cover 9,000 square feet and are fully leased by ProHealth, Mighty Pita and M&T Bank. Two of the three leases were executed during the pandemic.

“We believe given the trends in the markets, this is a great opportunity to introduce real estate, cash flow real estate, to investors in cryptocurrencies who are looking to diversify their investments,” said Ben Shaoul, managing partner of Magnum Real Estate Group.

Magnum has been bullish on cryptocurrency in recent years, including Shaoul’s 2019 sale of an Upper East Side retail condo for $15.3 million in Bitcoin. As early as 2022, Shaoul said, he expects between five to 10 percent of Magnum’s deals to be transacted using cryptocurrency.

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Sales using alternative forms of payment attract new buyers into the market, Shaoul said.

“It’s great to see new buyers, and new investors who are interested in learning about real estate as an alternative investment,” Shaoul said.

The digital assets have minted a new class of millionaires in recent years, some of which have used crypto to add luxury real estate in hot markets like Miami and New York City to their portfolios, The Real Deal’s Isabella Farr previously reported. Though notoriously volatile, popular cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin also hold the possibility for massive spikes in value that could spark pots of wealth too big for brokers to ignore.

“Cryptocurrency is a form of the treasury going forward,” Shaoul said. “It’s not going anywhere.”

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