640 Broadway has sold for $32.5 million.
According to Bob Knakal, chairman of the brokerage company Massey Knakal who handled the sale with colleague James Nelson, the roughly 63,000 square foot Soho building was purchased by a first time Manhattan buyer in partnership with an institutional investor. Mr. Knakal, a prolific broker of commercial and multifamily buildings in the city, said he could not disclose the identity of the joint venture because they were his clients and asked him to remain anonymous.
The seller in the deal, an entity called 640 Realty LLC that Mr. Knakal said also did not want to be revealed, purchased the building in 2004 according to New York City property records for around $13 million. The company, whose president is listed as Arnold Simon in mortgage documents, sold the property for more than double what it paid.
“They created tremendous value by doing quality renovations to the vacant units when they came available,” Mr. Knakal said.
But part of the appreciation was based on the building’s remaining untapped potential Mr. Knakal explained.
640 Broadway has 12 retail stores and 21 residential rental units, nine of which are rent stabilized. As those units roll over to market rate, Mr. Knakal said the building could be converted into condos. He also said that a large apartment could be created at the top of the building by joining some of the units, a space whose value would be enhanced because it is exclusively serviced by a private elevator in the building’s little-used Crosby Street entrance.
“It could be massive apartment with outdoor space,” Mr. Knakal said.
Mr. Knakal also revealed that the building has a large vaulted basement and sub-cellar level that has a footprint larger than the ground level and upper portions of the property.
“The building is 25 feet by 200 feet but the the vaulted basement is probably 35 feet by 300 feet, it goes under the sidewalk,” Mr. Knakal said. “We thought it would make an awesome private club, or something like that. You could take the floor out between the basement and celler and create a space with 15 to 20 foot ceilings. There is real potential there.”