New York’s Landmark Flatiron Building Will Go Up for Auction—Again—After the First Winning Bidder Failed to Pay a $19 Million Deposit

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For the second time in as many months, it appears that New York’s Flatiron Building will go up for auction. 

In late March, the triangular, steel-framed structure was the subject of an intense bidding war waged on the steps of the Manhattan County Courthouse, after its three majority stakeholders—ABS Real Estate Partners, GFP Real Estate, and Sorgente Group—sued the building’s fourth and final owner, Nathan Silverstein, to initiate a partition sale. 

Led by Jeffrey Gural, GFP’s chairman and a well-known figure in the world of New York real estate, the group of majority owners was the favorite to win full control of the building. But after back-and-forth bids, the consortium lost to a virtually unknown venture capitalist named Jacob Garlick, who took home the Flatiron for $190 million.  

To secure his purchase, Garlick needed to pay a 10 percent deposit, or $19 million, by Friday, March 24. The money never came, though, and Garlick ceded control of the historic Fifth Avenue property. 

That left the three majority stakeholders with the opportunity to purchase the Flatiron for $189.5 million—the second highest bid—but they too have declined, according to Crains New York. Gural told the outlet that he “had really hoped to buy it for a lot less.”  

Jeffrey Gural [L] and Jacob Garlick [R] at the auction of the Flatiron Building on 22 March 22, 2023. Photo: Christina Horsten via Getty Images.

Now, the 121-year-old Flatiron will likely head back to auction. When the event will take place is unclear, but auctioneer Matthew Mannion, who organized the initial sale, said a follow-up auction could happen two months from now at the earliest. This time, Mannion’s auction house may require an immediate deposit, so as to prevent bidders from artificially driving up the price. 

Gural and the rest of his group are again expected to again participate in the sale as they hope to secure the landmarked building for a lower price. Garlick, meanwhile, is still required to pay the $19 million deposit from the first auction. 

Whoever lands the Flatiron will add a truly iconic piece of architecture to their portfolio. Designed by Daniel Burnham, the building was completed in 1902, and has since become one of New York’s signature structures—in no small part because of artists’ depictions of it. The Flatiron has appeared in famous works by Berenice Abbott, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Hopper, among others. 

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