The Albert Ellis Institute, a psychotherapy training institute established in 1959, has relocated from the Upper East Side to Midtown South after completing the sale of its headquarters at 45 East 65th Street to a private buyer for $20 million. In a simultaneous transaction, the nonprofit organization signed an 8,000-square-foot sublease at 145 East 32nd Street.
“Albert Ellis is a prominent nonprofit organization that was presented with an opportunity to monetize its real estate while moving to a more centrally located base of operations,” said Steve Chasanoff, executive managing director with Colliers International, who arranged both the sale and sublease, in a prepared statement. “The organization also wanted to consolidate its entire team onto one floor, with a more efficient layout and use of space.”
How do you sell a $24.5 million Upper East Side townhouse? Try starting with a lawsuit, asking too much, churning through brokers, dropping the price, then pulling the property off the market. But hey, it worked! The Albert Ellis Institute has found a buyer!
As far as sales techniques go, the Albert Ellis Institute’s methods could be described as erratic, eccentric, maybe even distraught. And as with so many other troubled children, the psychotherapy training institute’s real estate problems can be traced back to its father figure, Albert Ellis, who both founded the Institute and donated his townhouse at 45 East 65th Street to it. While the acquisition of the house remains a matter of some dispute, its disposition became a matter of even more controversy when Ellis tried to take the property back to help cover his late-in-life medical expenses. After a lengthy legal battle that spanned the last years of Mr. Ellis’s life and a few years after his death, his estate and the Institute settled amicably, and the Institute listed the townhouse for $29 million.