Developer David Levinson is in talks to invest in and help redevelop 380 Madison Avenue, an 840,000-square-foot Midtown office building sources say.
The property is currently controlled by the mercurial and enigmatic investor and developer Sheldon Solow who has a leasehold on the property. But that interest runs out in 2014 and the owners of the building, a venture led by Deutsche Bank’s real estate investment fund RREEF, want to bring on a partner to overhaul the antiquated tower.
Mr. Levinson has experience with such projects. His firm L&L Holding Company, redid 200 Fifth Avenue and has plans to build a new office tower at 425 Park Avenue.
Neither the terms of the deal that Mr. Levinson was potentially arranging with RREEF nor its scope were not available by press time. Mr. Levinson and a spokesperson from Deutsche Bank did not return calls seeking comment.
According to a person with knowledge of the 24-story building, it needs significant work to address several shortcomings, including low ceilings, bulky heating and cooling convector units that hug the windows and block the building’s views and various outdated core systems such as the property’s elevators and HVAC.
With a city proposal to potentially rezone areas of Midtown in a way that would allow significantly larger buildings to be built there, 380 Madison Avenue could also be a candidate for a larger project in which the building would be demolished and replaced with a significantly bigger structure some sources said.
All of the property’s office leases expire with end of Mr. Solow’s leasehold interest, clearing the way for construction work.
Mr. Solow purchased the leasehold interest over a decade ago and launched what legal experts say was a bizarre lawsuit against RREEF and its partners, alleging they were part of a scheme to mislead him into paying above market rate for his leasehold interest. Mr. Solow, who has a reputation for being litigious, lost the suit.