The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Developer Gobbling Up Midtown Properties Applies for Demolition: Records

 A developer plans to demolish 30 W. 39th St., along with three buildings next to it, records show.
A developer plans to demolish 30 W. 39th St., along with three buildings next to it, records show.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Noah Hurowitz

MIDTOWN — A developer is planning to tear down four adjacent buildings on West 39th Street, on the same block where the company is in the process of building a hotel project, according to property records.

Fortuna Realty Group on Friday filed permits to demolish 30 W. 39th St., a five-story walkup between Fifth and Sixth avenues, according to Department of Building records.

The building sits next to 24, 26, and 28 W. 39th St., three buildings for which Fortuna filed demolition permits in February, records show. 

Alan Reich, Fortuna’s development director, who signed off on all four of the demolition permits, declined to comment on the company’s plans.

Fortuna bought the buildings at 24-28 W. 39th St. in 2014 for $18.3 million total, and they have sat vacant for some time, with signs in the ground-floor windows announcing the closure of several businesses. 

The 30 W. 39th St. property is home to several businesses, including a film-processing studio on the ground floor.

Fortuna does not appear to have ownership of 30 W. 39th St., but in 2014 it bought the building’s development rights for $2 million, according to public records.

According to a DOB spokesman, it is possible for a developer to file permits before actually owning the building as long as there’s an agreement with the owner.

“I don’t know what kind of an agreement the two entities might have privately,” said spokesman Alex Schnell.

The landlord did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The 39th Street project is not Fortuna's first investment on the block. The firm is currently working with Starwood Hotels to develop a 27-story, 175-room boutique hotel at 25-27 W. 38th St., which sits behind the four buildings set to be demolished.

A building collapsed and killed one worker and injured another during the demolition of the buildings on the hotel site in October, leading to a $2,400 fine and a DOB violation, records show.