Macklowe’s five year journey to buy Midtown office is over

Developer reportedly tried to buy 14 East 52nd Street but could not close the deal

Macklowe’s Quest to Buy Midtown Office Site is Over
Harry Macklowe and 14 East 52nd Street (Google Maps)

A missing piece in Harry Macklowe’s Midtown assemblage where he sought to build a supertall has sold to another buyer. 

Macklowe reportedly sought to buy a seven story-office building at 14 East 52nd Street on and off for about five years so he could build TowerFifth. Instead, the seller, Inmoprisa, sold the property to Ramirez Asset Management for $19.5 million, records show.

Inmoprisa initially planned to sell the building to an affiliate of Macklowe Properties for $45 million with a closing scheduled for May 2019. To seal the deal, Inmoprisa said, it terminated its lease with the building’s tenant.

Macklowe extended the closing to August 2019 and then to January 2020. Inmoprisa agreed to yet another extension, to July 31, 2020, and increased the deposit to $9 million. Macklowe did not come up with the money and Inmoprisa sent a notice to terminate the contract and kept the deposit. 

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Macklowe attempted to buy the building again. His company Raciv Corp sought to acquire the property for $22.5 million this year and put down a $3 million deposit. 

In April, Raciv Corp assigned and transferred the rights to the contract to an entity controlled by investor Tim Ziss. Inmoprisa imposed a deadline of April 10 and needed the deal to close because of an impending tax liability. To keep the deal alive, an entity tied to Ziss filed for bankruptcy protection postponing the sale. 

Ziss’s lawyer, however, said it was unable to close on the deal and sought to dismiss the bankruptcy filing in August.

Ramirez, a New York-based fixed income and equity management firm, bought the property at a substantial discount to what it last traded for in 2017 when Inmoprisa paid $36 million.