By Sarah Trefethen
A pair of West Village commercial buildings has sold for $32 million dollars to an unnamed buyer who may convert the properties for residential use.
The one- and two- story buildings at 85 and 89 Jane Street occupy 110 feet of frontage on Jane, according to Peter McCuen of Peter McCuen and Associates, who along with Jim St. Andre represented the seller in the transaction.
The 12,000 s/f property is across the street from 777 Washington Street, which sold — in another deal by McCuen — in early 2008 for $35 million. The buyer was a hedge fund manager who tore down the residence on the site and replaced it with his own three-story mansion. It is also around the corner from Related Co’s Superior Ink condos, and Related leased space in the Jane Street buildings for use as a sales office.
McCuen declined to name the buyer or comment on their plans for the property. However, he said, “based on the pricing, the numbers tend to dictate that it will be residential.”
Residential broker Robert Browne, a senior vice president at Corcoran Group, represented the buyer in the deal, according to McCuen. Browne could not be reached for comment by press time.
McCuen called the sale price of $2,700 psf “record-breaking.” At the height of the residential market, turn-key townhouses in the neighborhood were selling for between $3,000 and $4,000 psf, he said, while those in need of a gut renovation garnered between $2,000 and $2,500.
The buildings have been on the market for about two years. The listing describes the site as “the last great mansion site available in the West Village and one of the most desirable properties to ever become available in Manhattan.”
The property is part of the Greenwich Village Historic District and any modification will be subject to approval by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. With that caveat, the listing describes the potential for “over 8,000 s/f below grade allowing for rare amenities that could include a pool, gym, art gallery, wine cellar, parking etc.”
The current buildings on the site were the home of the Steinway supplier Pro Piano from 1979 until Related leased the space. According to a 2009 New York Times article that cited landmark preservation commission records, one building was put up in the mid-19th century on the site of a stoneyard, and has been repeatedly altered since. The other began life in 1919 as a one-story garage.