Real estate developer Ed Scheetz got an offer he couldn’t refuse from New York University for two properties which his Chelsea Hotels owns in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood. The school paid him $157 million for the properties which it will use to expand its campus.
The adjoining buildings located at 404 Lafayette St. and 708 Broadway hold 151, 000 square feet between them. They were acquired in 2009 for just $39 Million.
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The University can certainly use the space. While in a great location for students, Manhattan’s iconic Greenwich Village, NYU has no real campus and the property values in the area make it very hard for the school to expand.
NYU said that it will use the two buildings for a temporary fitness center. Its spokesman John Beckman said, “This site will also allow us to consolidate the campus footprint in buildings that we own, reducing costs over time and creating more stability in our planning.”
Scheetz had intended to build a 249 room luxury hotel on the site, but instead decided to sell short and walk away with a big payday. He bought out his partner in the development, the Chetrit Group, just last year. Chetrit had a 50% stake in it.
“We bought the property a year ago and sold it to New York University after receiving an attractive offer we could not refuse, ” a spokesperson for Chelsea Hotels told the New York Daily News. “This sale positions us to consider a variety of options in the future and to focus more intensively on Hotel Chelsea.”
“In the long term, these buildings will help NYU address some of the space needs near our Washington Square Core that cannot be entirely addressed through construction on the superblocks, ” said John Beckman, NYU’s vice president for public affairs.