Published On: Sat, Aug 16th, 2014

Ben Ashkenazy Buys Original Barney’s Building in Manhattan for $60 Million

115 Seventh Avenue

Ben Ashkenazy’s Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation has purchased the original Barney’s building in Manhattan for $60 million from the Rubin Museum of Art which had acquired it from Barney’s owners for their museum.

115 Seventh Avenue, located at the corner of 17th Street, is a 45, 000 square foot six story building. It comes with the rights to enlarge it to a total of 70, 000 square feet.

Ashkenazy Acquisitions is also the owner of 660 Madison Ave that houses another Barney’s store.

Yoav Oelsner and Glenn Tolchin of JLL brokers handled the sale. Tolchin told Crain’s about the location, “We believe it’s a premiere site and that it will trade at a premium. It’s a corner site right at the point where some of the best neighborhoods in the city, the Flatiron District, Union Square, Chelsea and Greenwich Village all converge.”

There is no word yet on what Ashkenazy plans to do with the property, but it will use it as a retail space in keeping with its main business model, rather than convert the building for other uses.

The museum currently located there was established by Donald and Shelly Rubin and houses 1, 200 pieces of Tibetan and Himalayan art that they have acquired. It is endowed by the Donald and Shelly Rubin Foundation, which was established in 1995 to support the arts, to meet urgent human needs, to defend liberty and to promote social justice

The Rubin Museum recently changed its mind about using the location for the long term, whether due to its incompatibility for a museum or the opportunity to turn a tidy profit over the property for which it paid only $20 million.

Daniel Hernandez, a spokesman for the Rubin Museum said, “During the early years, there was hope the space [at 115 Seventh] would be redesigned as a public museum, but the museum trustees determined that the sale of the property was in the best long-term financial interest for the institution.”

Barney’s is planning on opening a new store right next door to it at the corner of 16th Street.

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