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

14 and 16 East 39th Street (Photo: CoStar Group).
14 and 16 East 39th Street (Photo: CoStar Group).


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.

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.

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