David I. Berley-Led Investment Group Acquiring Midtown East Site for $18.3M


An investment group led by Walter & Samuels Chairman David I. Berley is right now closing on the $18.3 million purchase of a seven-story office building with 16,000 square feet of air rights, at 5 East 47th Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

“It’s under-built. We’re happy to buy it because the extra value never goes away,” Mr. Berley told CO, noting that five stories could be added.

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Robert Smallheiser, who once was a tenant in the building between Madison and Fifth Avenues, bought it 30-plus years ago but decided it was time to sell following the closing of his business, Mr. Berley said. Cafe Alice occupies the 2,500-square-foot ground floor and 2,000-square-foot basement and has eight and a half or nine years left on its lease, the soon-to-be-owner said.

Office tenants in the 1920 building with limestone facade include creative digital agencies Carl Byrd & Company, Just Add Water and Mixopolis.

Mr. Berley represented the investment group in the acquisition and Yosef Mahgerefteh of Astor Brokerage represented Mr. Smallheiser. Mr. Mahgerefteh declined to comment.