Sam Chang Closing $31.6M Deal on East 39th Street, Hoping to Erect a Hyatt



Hotel titan Sam Chang is purchasing two buildings on East 39th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues for $31.6 million, Mr. Chang told Commercial Observer.

SEE ALSO: Sam Chang Closes on $42.4M Purchase of 292 Fifth Avenue in Koreatown [Updated]

The deal for 14 and 16 East 39th Street from ClearRock Properties and Juster Properties is closing this week, said Mr. Chang, the president and CEO of Great Neck, N.Y.-based McSam Hotel Group. He is in talks to turn the vacant buildings into a 20-story Hyatt hotel with full-service restaurant built by his preferred architect, Gene Kaufman. Mr. Chang anticipates the hotel could be erected in three years.

ClearRock and Juster Properties purchased the buildings as part of a portfolio sale of three office buildings from Yeshiva University for $87.5 million in 2013, according to a Feb. 26, 2013 press release issued by Massey Knakal Realty Services (now Cushman & Wakefield). The purchase included 9 East 38th Street, a 12-story, 93,700-square-foot block-through office building with 25 feet of frontage on East 39th Street, which is home to 16 East 39th Street. And the second building was 14 East 39th Street, a three-story, 7,400-square-foot commercial townhouse with 22,000 square feet of air rights. Those two buildings went for $29 million. (The third building was 920 Broadway and that sold for $58.5 million.)

ClearRock issued a press release following the 2013 purchase saying that it had launched a $10 million capital improvement program to reposition 9 East 38th Street and 14 East 39th Street.

C&W’s Robert Knakal, who exclusively handled ClearRock and Juster’s purchase with colleague John Ciraulo, was negotiating the recent deal for both sides. Mr. Knakal didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.