Four Winds Picks Up Murray Hill Apartment Building for $68M

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A new wind is blowing into The Knox in Murray Hill.

Four Winds Real Estate closed a deal to buy the 36-story apartment building at 49 East 34th Street from Morgenstern Capital and HIG Capital for $68 million, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

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Eastdil Secured’s Gary Phillips, Will Silverman and Jeff Organisciak brokered the deal. The Eastdil brokers and representatives for Morgenstern and HIG did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“We are thrilled to be able to acquire this luxury apartment building at an attractive basis and to provide high-quality housing for New York City residents in an undersupplied market,” Four Winds’ co-Founder David Schneiderman said in a statement. “This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to New York City and strong belief that New York City will continue to attract the best and brightest from around the world.”

Schneiderman added that Affinius Capital supplied the acquisition financing for the purchase, but declined to provide the loan amount.

The 110-unit rental building between Madison and Park avenues was built in 2009 by Esplanade Capital as an extended-stay hotel and was bought by CIM Group for $54 million in a 2011 foreclosure auction after Esplanade defaulted on $76 million in loans, The Real Deal reported.

The property had a 421a tax exemption at the time and, after taking control of it, CIM leased it for two years to temporary housing provider BridgeStreet to keep the 421a break, as CO previously reported. However, CIM sued BridgeStreet for running the building as an “extended-stay hotel” and terminated the lease in 2014.

The state attorney general started an investigation into the property and found that it was being run as an illegal hotel while claiming the 421a tax break. CIM settled with the attorney general in 2015 and agreed to pay $4.4 million for the infraction, as CO previously reported.

CIM put the building on the market in 2017, after converting it to residential, and Morgenstern and HIG picked it up for $80 million that year, according to TRD and property records.

Morgenstern rebranded the property as The Knox. Available units in the property range from $4,650 per month for a one-bedroom apartment to $6,900 for a three-bedroom, according to StreetEasy and The Knox’s website.

The Knox won’t be the first apartment building Four Winds owns in the area. In 2021, the Schneiderman and Joshua Landau-led firm picked up 138 East 38th Street from Bi-Coastal Properties for $32.2 million, as CO previously reported.

Update: This story has been updated to include a statement from David Schneiderman.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.