The Real Deal
August 29, 2913
By Adam Pincus
Midtown-based investor Madison Capital is planning to build a 26,700-square-foot, six-story office and retail building on a prominent triangular lot in Soho, and The Real Deal has a first look at the plans.
Madison Capital, led by co-founders Richard Wagman, Philippe Weissberg and J. Joseph Jacobson, agreed to buy the parcel, at 19 East Houston Street between Broadway and Crosby streets, for $25.825 million.
The design envisions a street wall of 63 feet fronting on Crosby, and 202.5 feet along Houston, plans filed with the city Landmarks Preservation Commission show. The building ends at a sharp angle at Broadway, leaving no frontage on the street.
The plan shows a 4,672-square-foot ground floor retail space with an option for another sliver of a retail space touching on Broadway. That tiny space, separated from the larger retail floor by a subway entrance, will be only measure about 150 square feet. The building will have a total of 14,822 square feet of above-ground retail on three levels, and 11,878 square feet of office space on floors four through six.
The heavy interest in the site — currently a parking lot for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s New York City Transit emergency vehicles — underscores the demand for retail in Soho. Madison beat out competitors including Bobby Cayre’s Aurora Capital Associates, Harry Macklowe’s Macklowe Investment Properties and six other bidders.
The MTA, which controls the city-owned parcel through a master lease, will turn the property over to the city, which will in turn hand over control to Madison Capital. The entire process which includes review by the LPC is expected to be completed by August 2014, MTA documents show. The plan is scheduled for an LPC hearing on Sept. 10.
In addition, more details of the purchase process were revealed in public records last month, including that Madison Capital was not the highest bidder for 19 East Houston.
The deal was complicated, however. The MTA required the buyer to not only bid on the Houston triangle site, but also to provide the NYCT with a parking lot for its emergency vehicles.
As part of Madison’s bid, it paid $13 million for a Flatiron District parking lot at 6-8 West 20th Street in June, so its total outlay was almost $38.83 million.
Aurora offered $26.75 million for the Houston parcel — more than Madison — but offered an alternate parking site that would have cost them $4 million; and Macklowe offered $27 million for the Houston site, but its alternate NYCT site was $6 million.
The MTA considered their bids to be “inferior” to the Madison bid, and so selected the Madison proposal.
Aurora and Macklowe declined to comment. Madison did not respond to a request for comment.