The Toy Building conversion drama is settled: Half will go office, the other half will go condo.
Joseph Chetrit, the secretive developer who once planned to convert both the Toy Building at 200 Fifth Avenue and the building it’s connected to, 1107 Broadway, into a residential utopia, has sold 1107 Broadway to Tessler Developments for $235 million. The sale was recorded in city records and The Observer reported it first online on Monday.
Tessler will turn 1107 Broadway into high luxury condos, a separate fate from the 15-story building at 200 Fifth Avenue that’s connected to it by a sky bridge. When L&L Holding Company bought 200 Fifth, at the corner of 23rd Street, for $480 million from Mr. Chetrit earlier this year, it threw out the plans Mr. Chetrit had to turn it into condos and decided to rebuild the space as an 800,000-square-foot office building.
But that’s not what the Tesslers—who received financial help in the deal from Lehman Brothers, according to a source familiar with the deal—have planned for 1107 Broadway.
“It’s going condo—condo!” said Yitzchak Tessler, reached by phone on Monday.
Not only is it going residential, it seems to be picking up exactly where Mr. Chetrit left off. There will be 180 units in the building, with asking prices starting at $1 million and with all of the properties marketed under Prudential Douglas Elliman, Mr. Tessler said.
“It’s a nice living area,” Mr. Tessler said. “I really believe that this is a really great area to live for families—it’s a family neighborhood.”
There probably aren’t many people who’d describe the nightclub-heavy Flatiron District as a family neighborhood, but it’s the drum that Mr. Tessler will need to beat in order to sell his condos. The person in charge of selling those condos will be his son Efraim Tessler, who works at Douglas Elliman, Mr. Tessler said.
Of course, there’s the business of cleaning up the building first. Mr. Tessler said he plans on putting in an outdoor and indoor pool as well as a gym and rooftop deck. He said he did not have an architect picked yet, but one thing is certain: To put in all those amenities—plus bathrooms and kitchens—is going to cost the developer a lot.
Mr. Chetrit had once set out plans exactly like Mr. Tessler’s when he dubbed 200 Fifth and 1107 Broadway as “Madison Square West,” the columnist Michael Stoler wrote in 2006. He was entangled in lawsuits to evict tenants from the building, including Cipriani at 200 Fifth (something that L&L now has to deal with, as The Observer’s Chris Shott has reported).
As for the sale to Mr. Tessler, 1107 Broadway looked like an easy arrangement for Mr. Chetrit—the two have been involved in several deals together. Earlier this year, Mr. Chetrit bought a parcel of land at 855 Sixth Avenue with Tessler, and the two teamed up to buy the Helmsley Windsor Hotel on 58th Street in 2004.
It’s also only the latest to go condo around Madison Square Park. El-Ad Properties has preliminary plans and a sketch, according to the New York Post, to build an enormous, 74-story residential tower atop the office building next to the Clock Tower off Madison Square Park.