Flatiron Building future uncertain as buyer fails to pay deposit

March 29, 2023

Image courtesy of Jauher Ali Nasir on Flickr

After placing a winning bid of $190 million for the Flatiron Building during a live auction last week, Jacob Garlick of Abraham Trust missed the deadline to make the down payment, as first reported by NY1. After placing the winning bid, Garlick was required to pay a 10 percent deposit of $19 million by Friday but has yet to do so. This could mean another auction will be set for the iconic property.

Under the terms of the transaction, ownership of the building could be offered to the second highest bidder, Jeffrey Gural, one of the building’s previous partial owners. But Gural told NY1 he is not interested in purchasing the building at the winning bidder’s price.

New York City’s iconic Flatiron building was put up for auction earlier this month following a long-running dispute between its previous owners GFP Real Estate, Newmark, Sorgente Group, ABS Real Estate Partners, and Nathan Silverstein.

The owners accused Silverstein, who owned 25 percent of the building, of making poor business decisions after the landmark’s only tenant, Macmillan Publishers, moved out in 2019, as Crain’s New York reported.

To resolve the dispute, the owners pursued a partition sale through a judge to extract their investments from the property. In January, the auction was approved by a state supreme court judge in Manhattan, who deemed that the transaction would be a cash sale and that the owners would receive the money based on the fraction of the building they owned.

The auction had 11 registered bidders, with the auction starting at $50 million and increasing in increments of $2 million before narrowing to $500,000 when Garlick and Gural were the only remaining bidders.

“It’s been my lifelong dream of mine since I’m 14 years old. I’ve worked every day of my life to be in this position,” Garlick told NY1 after winning the auction on March 23. “We are honored to be a steward of this historic building, and it will be our life’s mission to preserve its integrity forever.”


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