In Mad, Mad Office Market, Class-B Building Gets $126 M.

A historic 14-story converted office building south of Columbus Circle is selling for at least $126 million.

The building, known as Rodin Studios, is located at 200 West 57th Street at the corner of Seventh Avenue, and is in contract to the Feil Organization, the company’s C.E.O., Jeffrey Feil, confirmed Monday.

Although the building was commissioned a landmark in 1988, and has a pedigree as strong as any other in the area, it’s not the type of prime office space that commands unusually high prices.

But, in this real-estate market gone mad, the 120,000-square-foot building will sell for more than $1,000 per foot.

The building was constructed in 1917 to provide living and studio space for artists.

Maybe that’s a reason the building is such a head-scratcher for office space.

Floor plans indicate that there is 9,000 square feet per floor, and windows on only two sides of the building—not exactly winning features that bring in anchor tenants. Current tenants include small law firms, doctor’s offices and personnel offices.

Rodin Studios is, however, a pretty building. Cass Gilbet—the man who brought the city the Woolworth Building—designed it, and the building has a concrete frame faced in polychromatic rough brick with a French-gothic terra cotta.

But still: an asking price over $1,000 a foot for a class-B building? Maybe that has to do with the area, right? After all, it’s next to the Vornado-controlled 888 Seventh Avenue and across the street from Carnegie Hall.

“This building is benefited by its surroundings and it is surrounded by all the nicest houses on the block,” said Matthew Astrachan, an executive vice president at Cushman & Wakefield. “Well, except this one.”

If anyone has a plan, however, it’s the Feils, a family with a notoriously low profile but one that has been actively buying since the 1930’s.

They own more than a dozen buildings in Manhattan and control more than three million square feet of office space (to say nothing of their residential properties, mostly on the East Side).

Mr. Feil would not comment on his future plans for the building, but with asking rents in the building in the relatively anemic range of $50 per square foot, common sense says he’s got to do something new to it.

“Feil owns a lot of buildings, and he’ll work his machine,” said Mr. Astrachan. “They’ll use their expertise to move people around to increase rents.”

Or maybe even return the building to its original purpose: residential units.

The building has an additional 50,000 square feet available for development, according to

The happy seller is the Trump Group—and that’s Eddie Trump, who is not related to the famous family. He would not comment on the deal.

Representing the sellers is the venerable one-two punch of Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan of CB Richard Ellis. Neither would comment.

THE BALLOTS ARE IN AND THE VOTES are counted. The Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association has a new governing board!

Like a Key Club for growing real-estate brokers, it’s a big deal for these ambitious, résumé-padding youngsters.

So much so that the results were announced yesterday in a closed-door, members-only lunch in midtown.

Beef, asparagus and chocolate cake were served to some 100 members.

The kids who won this year are already known in the industry, but these positions are seen as a springboard for that next career jump; the move that separates a merely good broker from the likes of Stephen Siegel. And to be sure, some big names, such as Jimmy Kuhn, Mitch Rudin and Barry Gosin, have previously served on the board.

Like all major leasing deals that seem to get gobbled up by the big boys—CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, GVA Williams, Studley—the winners’ circle is a list of those already at larger firms.

So, the results! Sloane Rhulen, an art-collecting Crain’s “40 under 40” power player formerly of Newmark Knight Frank and currently of CB Richard Ellis, is the new chairman.

Bill Montana of Studley, the 42-year-old tenant-rep avid skier, will be the new vice chairman. Paul Milunec, a GVA Williams broker who spends his downtime in the pool playing water polo, will take over as treasurer, and Brandl Frey, junior broker of Cushman & Wakefield, is the new secretary. Robert Fink, of Equity Office Properties, will be in charge of membership.

The new governors include Paul Amrich, the CB Richard Ellis broker Mary Ann Tighe plucked away from Cushman less than a year ago, David Green of Vornado and Danielle Zimbaro of Cushman & Wakefield.

To this new board, it couldn’t be more exciting.

“I think anything that raises your visibility and shows you’re in the community is something that people respond do,” said Mr. Montana, of Studley.

In Mad, Mad Office Market, Class-B Building Gets $126 M.