After being sold for $190 million to a guy who didn’t show up with the money, NYC’s Flatiron Building has found a new owner

The Flatiron building in New York.
Jeenah Moon—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Jeffrey Gural, a longtime stakeholder in Manhattan’s Flatiron Building, and his group of investors have won an auction for the iconic landmark after years of battling over its future.

Gural, chairman of GFP Real Estate, bid $161 million for the wedge-shaped tower, winning the auction held Tuesday outside a courthouse in lower Manhattan. He said the owners would consider converting either part or all of the building to apartments, a move that would first require seeking approval from the city.

It was Gural’s second attempt after his group’s nearly $190 million bid fell short in a March auction where he lost out to Jacob Garlick, a relative unknown. Garlick, a managing partner at Abraham Trust, failed to pay the deposit for the building, in what Gural called a “crazy” twist. That paved the way for Tuesday’s auction.

“It’s a good day,” Gural said. “I didn’t know what to expect.”

His group, which includes investors that already had stakes in the building, will have to buy out fellow investor Nathan Silverstein’s stake. 

In order to avoid a situation similar to the first auction, buyers were required to submit a photo identification, proof of deposit funds and, if buying through an entity, some indication of its legitimacy.

Gural has owned a stake in the Flatiron Building, at 175 Fifth Ave., for decades. Owners of the tower, which has sat empty after sole tenant Macmillan Publishers moved out in 2019, have been embroiled in a dispute on how to proceed with renovations to attract occupants. 

Gural acknowledged that it’s a tough market for office buildings. The rise in remote work and higher borrowing costs have slammed many owners. While the plan was initially to keep all the building’s space for offices, he said the owners are open to other ideas.

“We accomplished our goal, which is to end our relationship with Nathan Silverstein and own the building 100%,” Gural said. “It’s a relief because for the last 30 years I’ve needed his consent on everything. Sometimes we agreed. Sometimes we didn’t.”

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