The original Barneys retail space that Ben Asheknazy bought for $57 million years ago could sell for half that amount after his lender took over the Chelsea property.
Argentic Investment Management, which took control of the seven-story building at Seventh Avenue and 17th Street last March, is putting the property up for sale and eyeing a price of around $30 million, The Real Deal has learned.
The vacant, 40,000-square-foot building at 115 Seventh Avenue could be repositioned for residential, retail or office use — or be torn down for a ground-up project.
The property has an additional 15,000 square feet of air rights, according to marketing materials from Meridian Investment Sales, where a team led by David Schechtman is handling the sale. The development rights could bring a new, mixed-use building up to roughly 55,000 square feet.
Barney Pressman opened the original Barneys New York store at the location in 1923. By the time Ashkenazy bought the building in 2014, it was being used by the Rubin Museum of Art to display a collection of Tibetan and Himalayan art.
The Rubin museum sold the property to Ashkenazy for $57 million, and Barneys opened a glitzy store next door at 101 Seventh Avenue. That store shuttered in 2020 (and recently housed a Spirit Halloween) after Barneys went bankrupt — an unceremonious end that the iconic retailer blamed, in part, on Ashkenazy’s hiking the rent at Barneys’ flagship, 660 Madison Avenue.
Ashkenazy has said the company was brought down by other financial problems.
It’s not clear that the investor ever found a tenant to occupy the 115 Seventh Avenue space in the decade he owned it. Google’s street view shows a progression of aging signs advertising the space for lease. The Ashkenazy Acquisitions website and a spokesperson provided no update.
Argentic, led by CEO Doug Tiesi, filed to foreclose in September 2020, claiming Ashkenazy had failed to repay the property’s $46 million loan. About a year ago, Argentic took control of the property — one of many where Ashkenazy has struggled with lenders.