Oscar-winning film lab selling Midtown property after 100 years

DuArt Media asks $48M for 12-story building at 245 West 55th Street

JLL’s Bob Knakal and Jonathan Hageman with 245 West 55th Street (JLL, LoopNet)
JLL’s Bob Knakal and Jonathan Hageman with 245 West 55th Street (JLL, LoopNet)

An Academy Award-winning film processing company is shutting down for good and parting with the Midtown building it’s called home for 100 years.

DuArt, a motion picture lab and post-production studio, is selling its 12-story, 70,000-square-foot commercial loft property at 245 West 55th Street, a few blocks south of Columbus Circle between 8th Avenue and Broadway, for $47.5 million or about $687 per square foot.

JLL’s Bob Knakal and Jonathan Hageman have the listing.

Founded by Al Young in the building’s penthouse in 1922 and later run by his son, Irwin, DuArt spent the next century processing and developing pictures for numerous Hollywood productions, including “Dirty Dancing,” “Forrest Gump,” and “The Cider House Rules.” The company worked with future Oscar-winning directors Spike Lee and Michael Moore early in their careers, and earned its own Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 1979.

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As the film industry migrated to digital processing, DuArt sought to evolve from a film lab to a full-service media production company. But last year, DuArt announced it was closing up shop to focus on selling the property, which it acquired in the 1970s. Irwin Young died in January at the age of 94.

The mixed-use property’s zoning allows for it to be repositioned as a boutique office building or converted into a residential project, according to Knakal.

Although Midtown’s office market appears to be strengthening, with availabilities falling to 15.3 percent in the third quarter, according to Colliers — lower than Manhattan as a whole — the building’s proximity to Billionaires’ Row and Central Park could attract a residential developer too.

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