PGP in good shape with $126M SoHo sale

By Al Barbarino

Property Group Partners has sold a renovated SoHo office building at 148 Lafayette St. in New York City for $126.5 million to real estate investment firm Epic, city records show.

The 12-story, 154,953 s/f, class A office tower features 14,000 s/f of ground-floor retail space at the corner of Lafayette and Howard Streets.

The firm purchased the property in 2007 for $59 million, when it operated under the name Louis Dreyfus Property Group, city records show.

At the time, the building was in “dreadful shape,” with a single tenant, said Jeffrey Sussman, president at PGP. The firm launched a comprehensive renovation project with the help of Cook + Fox Architects, adding a new lobby, windows, restrooms, elevators, electrical and mechanical systems, and a 5,327 s/f top-floor penthouse.

The company put the price tag on the renovation around $15.5 million.

The building was also refitted with new electrical and mechanical systems and achieved LEED Gold certification in 2008, now a staple in the firm’s new and renovated buildings.

The original tenant was the aptly-named women’s clothing store Lafayette 148, which now occupies four floors in the building, Sussman said. Dolce & Gabbana, Seattle-based architectural firm Callison, Tower Research and Utrecht Art Supplies are among the building’s other tenants.

While it was the firm’s first project of this scope in New York City, Sussman said he hopes to expand further into the market and is currently bidding on several unnamed properties.

“It was a great renovation and we’d like to do a dozen more,” he said. “It’s just very, very, very difficult to find buildings of size in SoHo or Tribeca, or even true Chelsea, where we can do office. We’re constantly in competition with people who are doing residential and it’s tough.”

Douglas Harmon, Adam Spies and Kevin Donner of Eastdil Secured represented the seller. PGP owned the building in partnership with Bruce Toll and members of the Louis-Dreyfus family.

Epic did not return calls seeking comment.

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