BY BILLY GRAY
A partnership between Soho Properties and MHP, the company formerly known as Murray Hill Properties, is in contract to acquire 560 Seventh Avenue for $61.5 million.
The buyers reportedly intend to raze the building–a prominent location on the reality series Project Runway that is currently owned and used by Parsons The New School for Design–and build a hotel along with up to four stories of retail space.
UnknownSources say the the property includes 100,000 as-of-right buildable square feet and potential FAR bonuses (contingent on the construction of a plaza and other requirements) that could up that to 130,000 square feet.
The New School announced earlier this year that it planned to sell the building and relocate the Parsons Fashion School to its Greenwich Village campus. Sharif El-Gamal, the chairman and chief executive of Soho Properties, was the public face of the firm during the donnybrook that greeted its plan to build the Islamic community and prayer center Park51 near the Ground Zero site.
Bob Knakal of Massey Knakal Realty Services is representing the seller, Parsons. A team from MHP is representing the buying partnership.
“I’m not sure what the intended use is but most folks were looking it as a hotel rather than office site,” Mr. Knakal said. “Because of it being in such a strong retail location most buyers were contemplating putting in at least a three to four story retail component.”
An industry source who wished to remain anonymous said Parsons should move out of the building during the first quarter of 2014.