Sales  ·  Commercial

Extell Sells UES Papaya King Property to ZD Jasper for $25M

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Billionaires’ Row developer Extell is dog tired after a two-year stint as the owner of Papaya King’s longtime home at 179 East 86th Street.

The luxury developer offloaded the property last month to ZD Jasper Realty for $24.5 million. The sale appeared in city property records Wednesday and was first reported by Crain’s New York Business.

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The single-story commercial building on the corner of East 86th Street and Third Avenue had been the home of New York mainstay Papaya King since 1932 and still bears its neon signage. 

But the frankfurter shop’s fate has been in the balance since 2020, when former landlord Imperial Sterling terminated its lease for unpaid rent and commenced a lengthy legal battle to eject it from the property after 90 years, court records show.

That fight was bequeathed to Extell when it snapped up the property in November 2021 for $21 million.

Extell appeared poised to raze the 5,000-square-foot site and start anew — even amid a campaign from New Yorkers to save their beloved Papaya King — when it filed demolition permits with the city buildings department last year. Instead, the developer is pivoting and has decided to wash its hands of the property altogether.

It’s unclear what ZD Jasper’s plans are for the site, but this isn’t the first parcel the realty company has picked up from Extell recently.

The firm, led by Tom Zhidong Wu, bought three Far West Side industrial buildings from Extell last year for $57.1 million, as Commercial Observer previously reported.

Spokespeople for Extell and ZD Jasper did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.