Tishman JV Buys Historic Midtown South Building

A joint venture between Tishman Speyer and The Cogswell-Lee Development Group has purchased 183 Madison Ave., an Art Deco office building in Manhattan’s Midtown South office district.

tishmanA joint venture between Tishman Speyer and The Cogswell-Lee Development Group has purchased 183 Madison Ave., an historic Art Deco office building in Manhattan’s Midtown South office district, Tishman Speyer announced Wednesday. The Cogswell-Lee Development Group is a recently formed partnership of Cogswell Realty and Lee & Associates NYC.

The 19-story, 274,413 square-foot property, on the southeast corner of Madison Avenue and 34th Street, is 95 percent leased.

Although financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and Tishman-Speyer declined to answer Commercial Property Executive’s questions, the New York Post reported Wednesday that the building went for $185 million and that the seller was Buenos Aires–based investment company IRSA (Inversiones y Representaciones S.A.).

Tishman Speyer’s release called 183 Madison Ave. “a magnificent property in the heart of one the world’s leading magnets for technology, media, design and entertainment firms.”

It added, “Along with Tishman Speyer’s recent acquisition of nearby 175 Varick St., this continues our strategy of investing in New York City’s fastest growing submarkets, including Midtown South, Hudson Yards and Long Island City.”

The Post suggested that the purchase was made with a retail play in mind, reporting that the 20,000-square-foot retail lease for Domus Design Collection, a modern furniture store, will expire in 2020 and that the lease is for $30-something a square foot, versus current asking rents of $150 to $200.

Also known as the Madison-Belmont Building, 183 Madison Ave. was designed by the New York architectural firm of Warren & Wetmore and was completed in 1925 for the Merchants & Manufacturers Exchange of New York as an office and showroom space for the silk industry.

The building’s lower three stories have been cited as one of the first instances of Art Deco design in the United States, while the lobby is in the ornate Eclectic Revival style, featuring elements inspired by ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, and showcasing marbles, bronzes and a multi-colored, barrel-vaulted ceiling, according to Tishman Speyer.