Midtown Office Building Next to Future Amazon HQ Hits Market for $33M


A 12-story building next to Amazon (AMZN)s future Manhattan headquarters has hit the market for the first time in more than a century, with its owner hoping to transform the 1916 asset into a new modern boutique office development, Commercial Observer has learned. 

Colliers and B6 Real Estate Advisors are marketing the property at 16 West 39th Street in Midtown Manhattan with a $32.5 million asking price. The building has 55,000 rentable square feet and includes a leasable basement level. It has undergone recent capital improvements, including upgraded elevator systems and air conditioning.

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Zach Redding, managing director in Colliers (CIGI)’ New York capital markets group, noted that the property has been owned by the Weatherley family since it opened in 1916 and was connected for decades to the former Lord & Taylor flagship store on 424 Fifth Avenue.

Amazon acquired the Lord & Taylor building in 2020 from WeWork (WE) for $978 million and plans to house 2,000 employees in the 11-story asset when work is complete, likely in 2024. 

“Besides the proximity to Amazon and Bryant Park, it also has great ceiling heights with three-side exposure on each floor above the fourth floor, which is nice for a midsize office building,” said Redding, who leads Colliers’ New York capital markets group with Dylan Kane. “I think the floor plates lend really well to those who are in the market [for office space] today.”

Redding noted that the proximity to Amazon makes the 16 West 39th Street property attractive to prospective tenants who may be servicing the e-commerce giant. The sale is already gaining interest from investors, redevelopers and companies in the technology and textile industry open to using the building as a boutique headquarters, according to Redding. 

The unique history of the property as a site that would provide storage space for women’s shoes at Lord & Taylor adds another element that Redding said will help drive a strong purchase price.

“If this is purchased by an owner user as a boutique headquarters or if its is purchased by a family or high-net-worth investor who plans on holding it for a long time, they genuinely look into the history of buildings, and that historical significance has played a strong role in many of the other listings that we put on the market,’ Redding said. “Everybody likes a story and the story behind this one is very cool, as it’s not very often you find a building for sale that was built by someone in the early 1900s and their family has owned it the entire time.”

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com