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West End Avenue Rental Building Sells for Record $52.5 Million

By Emily Frost | December 6, 2012 2:02pm

UPPER WEST SIDE — One of West End Avenue's last rental properties has sold for a record $52.5 million in a move that experts believe is the first step towards its conversion into condos or co-ops.

The 12-floor building, 498 West End Avenue at 84th Street, dates back to 1911 and has 47 units, a mix of rent stablized and market rate apartments, each with six to eight rooms and ten-foot ceilings.

It was sold to Samson Management.

Jeff Wolk, the president of Fenwick Keats Real Estate, the agency which negotiated the deal, called it a "nice big old prewar building," and said the purchase price was "record-breaking" in his estimation.

"We haven’t seen a deal go for over 50 million dollars when there are less than 50 units in the building," he said of the building, which is registered to longtime owners Ruth and Zamir Korn, under the Lillian Korn Trust, according to Department of Finance records.

Wolk said the deal was also surprising because with rent stabilized apartments in the building, the new owners wouldn't "have a lot of freedom," adding that "it just shows the desirability of NY real estate."

But that "it’s likely that the next owner will make [the apartments] into free market co-ops."

Rob Anzalone, chairman of Fenwick Keats, agreed that rental buildings are becoming rarer.

"The trend of converting rental buildings of this type into to co-ops or condos made this property exceptionally attractive to perspective buyers," he said.