The Xavier Society for the Blind has sold its former headquarters at 154 East 23rd Street for $9 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.
The decision to sell was motivated in part by the burgeoning real estate market in Midtown South but also by changes in Xavier’s mission. The organization previously produced Braille and large-print books and had several libraries at the property that were open to the public. Technology innovations such as tablets and e-readers have since reduced the need for those types of physical materials.
“Xavier had been at this location for decades, and it got to the point in their organization where a lot of the technology had progressed to where they didn’t need to store their materials,” said David Schechtman, Esq. of Eastern Consolidated, who represented the seller. “They didn’t need as much physical space.”
The 15,783-square-foot Midtown South property, located between Lexington and Third Avenues, is likely to be converted to a residential property. The property has been well maintained but is in need of significant upgrading and investment, according to Mr. Schechtman.
“We marketed the property broadly for close to a year and capitalized on a very hot development market,” he added in a prepared statement.
The buyer is Omnia Group Ltd., according to a source familiar with the transaction. The buyer was also represented by Eastern Consolidated through Alan Miller.
At the time the sale went to contract, it achieved a new pricing benchmark on East 23rd Street at $562 per square foot. It has since been surpassed by the sale of United Cerebral Palsy’s building at 122 East 23rd Street to Toll Brothers for $135 million.
Xavier Society for the Blind had occupied the Midtown South property since 1948. The organization recently relocated to 2 Penn Plaza.