Kaufman and AXA Close on Historic Flatiron Building for $49M 

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Kaufman Organization and AXA Investment Managers closed on the $48.5 million purchase of a landmarked Flatiron building, Commercial Observer has learned. 

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The mixed-use property, at 56 West 22nd Street, came onto the market in September for an asking price near $50 million, CO reported at the time. The 12-story building, located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, was built in 1907 and has been owned by Fifty Six Realty Corp since at least the seventies. 

The ground-floor retail, previously occupied by N.Y. Cake and Baking Distributions, has been empty since 2018, and remaining tenants have leases that expire by 2021, leaving the property open to possibility, according to information from JLL, which marketed the property. 

Kaufman and AXA view the property as a part of their value-add strategy and plan to renovate and reposition the building, according to a prepared statement.

The two companies recently partnered up for another deal in Midtown South, with the purchase of a 12-story asset at 40 West 25th Street. The partners acquired the building for $122 million million from the Japanese investment firm Unizo Holdings in late 2019, and financed the purchase with a $76 million acquisition loan, per CO’s reporting. 

Kaufman’s Michael Kazmierski and Lorenzo Bakewell-Stone led the purchase together with AXA’s Andrew Pikearski. JLL’s Bob Knakal, Stephen Palmese, Jonathan Hagerman, Brock Emmetsberger, and Patrick Yanotta represented the seller. 

The purchase demonstrates Kaufman’s “commitment to furthering investment in the Midtown South market while assisting in its evolution by drawing and retaining dynamic office and retail tenants,” Kazmierski, president of Kaufman Investments, said in a prepared statement.