The iconic Flatiron Building, located in the heart of Manhattan, will soon be up for auction on March 22, in a bid to resolve a long-standing dispute between its current owners. The decision, handed down by the State Supreme Court, aims to end the impasse between the building's five co-owners. Currently, 75% of the landmark is owned by GFP Real Estate, Newmark, Sorgente Group, and ABS Real Estate Partners, while the remaining 25% belongs to Nathan Silverstein.
The story of the Flatiron Building is a complex one, marked by legal battles and accusations between its owners. Back in 2021, the majority shareholders sued Silverstein, blaming him for the building's prolonged vacancy, due to his poor business decisions. Silverstein, in turn, sued his partners, claiming they failed to properly lease out the space. The complicated ownership structure of the building, with each partner holding veto power, has left the situation in a stalemate, leading to the court's decision to put the building up for auction.
The Flatiron Building, originally known as the Fuller Building, is a 22-story tower located at 175 Fifth Avenue, and has come to define the Flatiron District in Manhattan. The building's triangular shape, reminiscent of an iron, earned it its nickname. In 1902, when it first opened its doors, the building served as the headquarters of the Fuller Company. In 1925, the building was sold to an investment syndicate, and in 1966, it was designated a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The Flatiron Building went through a renovation in the late 1990s, when its ownership was divided among the five partners. The last tenant to occupy the building was the British publishing giant Macmillan, but by June 2019, all 21 office floors were vacant. By November 2020, the entire building was empty, and renovations began with the aim of once again filling the iconic space.
The sale of the Flatiron Building is a significant event, and the proceeds will be split among the partners based on their current stakes. The landmark building, described as having "a quality of directional motion with its prowlike mass towering above the beholder," has been a defining symbol of modernity in New York since 1902, and it is now time for it to once again be filled with life and vitality.