Real estate investor Shlomo Bakhash has purchased the former Williams Club, a 30,000-square-foot townhouse building at 24 East 39th Street for a little over $9 million New York City property records show.
Mr. Bakhash owns several assets through his real estate company, the Kash Group, both in the city and nationally. According to sources familiar with the deal, Mr. Bakhash has the option to either convert the building, which is vacant, into residential space or lease it out.
The Williams Club was owned by the prestigious liberal arts school Williams College, which used it as a club and dining facility for alumni and also as an events space for rent. The building was well known to the real estate industry, whose numerous associations and trade groups, including the National Realty Club, held functions at the location through the years.
The deal didn’t spell the end of the club. Williams College relocated the facility last year to coexist with the Princeton Club at 15 West 43rd Street. Sources familiar with the deal say the sale made sense because Williams is a small school – it has roughly 2,200 undergraduate students – and therefore could easily fold its facility into one operated by a larger institution like Princeton, saving on operating costs and realizing proceeds from the sale.
Though 24 East 39th Street’s townhouse aesthetic could make for a high end residential conversion, the building could also appeal to office users, particularly international missions and consulates, which occupay similar buildings in the neighborhood because of its proximity to the United Nations.
Mr. Backhash couldn’t be reached for comment on the deal.
A brokerage team formerly with Grubb & Ellis and now with Avison Young arranged the sale on behalf of Williams College. That team, comprised of Vincent Carrega, Neil Helman, Jon Epstein, Charles Kingsley and Jason Meister, left Grubb & Ellis after the company went bankrupt and was acquired by BGC Partners earlier this year. Because the group was at Grubb however when they started marketing the property, it is likely they will be unable to collect their commission on the sale because BGC gained the right to collect those proceeds based on a ruling by the bankruptcy court in April.
BGC offered Grubb brokers their share of the deals they arranged only if they signed a contract to remain with the company. Many, including the Carrega team, chaffed at that offer and fought it unsuccessfully in the bankruptcy proceeding.
Brokerage executives Jason Meister and Jon Epstein led the team’s marketing efforts for the property. Mr. Meister, reached by phone in his office, said he could not comment on the sale.