Historic Flatiron Building Goes Up For Auction Today in Manhattan

Photo by Michael Young

A new chapter in the storied history of the Flatiron Building is set to unfold today as the New York City landmark goes up for sale at a public auction. Designed by Daniel Burnham completed in 1902 as the Fuller Building, the structure quickly became an emblem of New York with its ornate Renaissance Revival flourishes and prominent wedge-shaped design formed by the confluence of Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

In 2019, GFP Real Estate, Newmark, Sorgente GroupABS Partners Real Estate, and Nathan Silverstein began an $80 million renovation of the building led by Beyer Blinder Belle, but a series of disputes among the owners delayed progress beyond the initial one-year scope of work. These differences eventually reached an impasse, leading to a New York Supreme Court ruling to put the property up for sale. Mannion Auctions will host the transaction with a starting price of $40 million. The owners intend to retain their stake in the building, and are permitted to put forward offers in the form of credit bids using their existing stakes in the property.

The 21-story structure’s interiors have sat vacant since its last tenant, MacMillan Publishers, left in 2019 after occupying the site for nearly 60 years. Scaffolding and black netting covers three corners of the exterior, remnants of the painstaking process to restore the limestone and terracotta façade over the past four years. The restoration also involved the removal of all window-mounted air conditioning units, which were to be replaced by an upgraded internal HVAC system. Other elements of the planned renovation included an updated lobby space, revised ground-floor retail frontage and storefront louvers, façade changes to the 21st floor behind the roof parapet, and new elevators.

Below are photographs taken over the past few years showing the landmark from various angles.

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Photo by Michael Young

Tumult began in 2021 when Silverstein was sued by the other four owners, who alleged his business decisions had led to their inability to land a new tenant, and sought to dissolve their partnership. Jeff Gural of GFP Real Estate stated in an affidavit that Silverstein opposed the modernization of infrastructure, including fire safety upgrades that were necessary to legally rent out the building. Gural also railed against Silverstein’s proposal to split the office space into five separate properties, which the building’s landmark status prevented.

Silverstein responded with a countersuit that alleged Gural had caused the renovation costs to skyrocket by means of overpaying for materials. The countersuit also contended that the four other owners were colluding to lease the building below its market rate to Knotel, which is largely owned by Newmark.

The sale will be held by auctioneer Matthew D. Mannion of Mannion Auctions, LLC.

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9 Comments on "Historic Flatiron Building Goes Up For Auction Today in Manhattan"

  1. David of Flushing | March 22, 2023 at 8:42 am | Reply

    Apparently, the future use of the building is a question. It might make for interesting apartments with triangular coffee tables.


  3. Unfortunately I MISSED seeing it on my trip to NYC, and hope it is STILL there on my next one?! 1🥺

    If it “survives”, am sure some developer is already licking their lips, at the prospect of converting it into “THE FLATIRON”… ultra luxurious “triangle” condos, featuring a massive 2 full floor penthouse listed for $150+ million (raw space only)?!


    It will remain office space? 🤔🤗

    • What’s the difference to anyone standing outside? It will look the same and be completely refurbished. A conversion would actually improve it, since they will gut the mechanicals and there will be no more stupid window units.

    • Survive… Are you kidding? The new buyer didn’t pay over $190 Million to tear it down. This building has a long life ahead of it and will remain a NYC icon.

  4. I can see it now. Forget offices. Forget hotels. Forget residential. The grand old building will be be clad from triangular head to toe in neon Pizza orange and renamed the Slice. It will serve as a 21 story cornucopia & bazaar of illegal, untested and unregulated marijuana dispensaries – something which NYC desperately lacks, and sorely needs.

  5. Seems interesting.

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