Developer Legion Files Permits to Demolish Office Building It Just Bought for $58M

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Prolific New York condo developer Victor Sigoura’s Legion Investment Group got busy this week with a new project on a site it just acquired near Union Square

Legion and real estate investment firm EJS Group bought the vacant six-story office building at 5 West 13th Street for $57.5 million, according to property records made public Tuesday. The ink barely had time to dry before Sigoura’s firm filed permits on Friday to tear down the 130,000-square-foot building.

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The developer likely has plans for more of what it does best: a condo building up to 30 stories tall, according to Crain’s New York Business

A spokesperson for Legion did not respond to a request for comment. 

The existing office building on the site, which has an alternate address of 8-12 West 14th Street, was fully occupied by the city’s Human Resources Administration until the agency’s lease expired in January 2023.

The building’s former owner, Philips International, never ushered it into its next chapter and the property remained vacant after HRA left, according to a marketing website the firm created with a leasing team from Newmark (NMRK).

Spokespeople for Philips and Newmark did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The ground began to shift in July, when Philips sold 75 percent of its ownership stake in the property to a group of limited liability companies linked to Arnold Penner Real Estate, Rhodes Building Management, Braun & Goldberg and Friedland PropertiesLawrence Friedland for $31.1 million, according to city property records. That deal valued the property at $41.5 million.

Legion and EJS paid the investor group a premium of more than $15 million to acquire the property earlier this month, which is currently zoned for medium-density commercial buildings, according to the city planning department. They also secured a $37.5 million acquisition loan from Maxim Capital for the purchase, according to property records.

 It’s unclear if brokers were involved in the deal.

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