686 Lexington Avenue is currently a retail building, but it has been acquired by a hotel company.
Built in 1922, the five floor 15, 000 square foot commercial property at 686 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan has been sold to the Turkish hotel chain Marmara by Himmel and Meringoff for a reported $21.3 million. Located near 57th Street, the building currently hosts a Harley Davidson motorcycle shop. There are six units in the building, including 9, 000 square feet of office space and 6, 000 square feet of retail space.
The sale included the leasehold and the fee interest, according to Stephen Meringoff, chairman of Meringoff Properties, the real estate investment arm of Himmel and Meringoff. $13.7 million of the price went to the fee interest and $7.5 million for the leasehold interest.
In a statement to The Real Deal, Stepeh Meringoff said, “We own 681 Lexington and thought it would benefit from a hotel on the corner.” He also said that Marmara had already acquired the air rights above the property in 2010 for $4 million and that it wants to build an extended stay hotel there.
Apparently, the sale was signed by the parties involved in December, but only closed and recorded with New York City on May 1st.
Marmara has six luxury hotels around the world that offer long term residencies, including one hotel in New York on East 94th Street.
Founded in 1985 by partners Stephen J. Meringoff and Leslie Wohlman Himmel, Himmel and Meringoff Properties is a privately held New York real estate investment company which owns and manages Manhattan commercial properties. The firm has acquired, redeveloped and re-positioned over 50 commercial properties.
While long term ownership of properties is the firm’s main objective, it does engage in short term investments. It currently owns fourteen office buildings around Manhattan and one in Queens.
The company’s investment strategy is to identify and acquire well located but under performing commercial properties and to renovate them and maximize their potential earnings from rentals. It relies on the company’s expertise in the area of property management and its reputation to bring in high paying customers who will know the value of being a Himmel and Meringoff tenant.
A founding principal at Himmel and Meringoff, Leslie Wohlman Himmel has an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School and is a member of its board. She specializes in the acquisition and financing of properties and has a personal portfolio estimated at $500 million. She handles the larger deals for the firm.
The 60 year old businesswoman and mother of two grew up in White Plains New York and still uses her first husband’s sir name of Himmel. She is self made and has been listed by many publications as one of the most successful businesswomen in new York.
The other founding principal of Himmel and Meringoff, Stephen J. Himmel also has an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He first became active in new York real estate in 1978. Meringoff chairs the firm’s property management affiliate, Meringoff Properties Inc, and handles the day to day affairs of maintaining their buildings.
Mr. Himmel is a philanthropist who has made significant donations to education. He serves on the boards of several non profit organizations that work to improve public education.