Outsider wins Flatiron Building after bidding war with Gural 

Jacob Garlick’s Abraham Trust swoops in with winning $190M bid for famed office building

The Flatiron Building with Abraham Trust's Jacob Garlick and GFP Real Estate's Jeff Gural
The Flatiron Building with Abraham Trust's Jacob Garlick and GFP Real Estate's Jeff Gural (Getty; Illustration by The Real Deal)

The Flatiron Building will soon have a new owner after a surprise bidder emerged victorious in an auction for the famed property.

Outsider Jacob Garlick’s Abraham Trust beat out one of the building’s previous owners, Jeffrey Gural, in a bidding war for the property on the steps of the Manhattan County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon. 

Garlick placed a winning bid of $190 million for the landmarked triangular building, according to sources at the proceeding. 

Abraham Trust's Jacon Garlick and GFP Real Estate's Jeff Gural seen at the Manhattan County Courthouse
Abraham Trust’s Jacob Garlick and GFP Real Estate’s Jeff Gural at the Manhattan county courthouse (Photo via Tom Brady of Douglas Elliman)

Sorgente Group, Gural’s GFP Real Estate and ABS Real Estate Partners, who owned 75 percent of the Flatiron Building at 175 Fifth Avenue, sued in 2021 to initiate a partition sale after they said they could not see eye-to-eye with Nathan Silverstein, who owned the remaining 25 percent.

A partition auction occurs when multiple owners have a stake in a property. Owners can use their existing stakes to place a “credit bid” on the property, which made Gural’s group a favorite to win Wednesday’s auction.

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The ownership spat began shortly after the building’s longtime anchor tenant, MacMillan Publishers, announced plans to move out in 2017, according to court records. At the time, the book publisher occupied all 21 floors of the building.

Silverstein proposed physically splitting up the building, an idea Gural called “preposterous.” 

(Video via Tom Brady of Douglas Elliman)

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The building’s ownership structure, which gave each of the stakeholders veto power over any major decision at the property, led to a stalemate, according to a court filing.

The first Manhattan skyscraper north of 14th Street, the 120-year-old Flatiron Building is one of the city’s most iconic properties.

Matthew Mannion of Mannion Auctions was the auctioneer.