The Korean media company MediaWill through the entity 110 West 32nd LLC paid $37 million to Jack Franco and Murray Dweck through the entity RF110 Realty, LLC and Ralph F LLC for the mixed-use building (K4) at 110 West 32nd Street in Penn Plaza, Manhattan. The building was the subject of a complex ownership dispute that was later resolved. Jack Franco is the founder of Jacks, also known as Jack’s 99¢ Store, the discount variety store that has occupied the site for decades.
The Commercial Observer first reported the sale, identifying MediaWill as the buyer.
The deal closed on September 15, 2023 and was recorded on September 25, 2023. The property has 102,145 square feet of built space and 20,930 square feet of additional air rights for a total buildable of 123,120 square feet according to a PincusCo analysis of city data. The sale price per built square foot is $362 and the price per buildable square foot is $300 per the PincusCo analysis. (The price per square foot analysis is the transaction price divided by square feet as reported in public records and assumes no air rights have been sold.)
The signatory for Jack Franco and Murray Dweck was Jack R. Franco. The signatory for MediaWill was Toni Park of PD Properties, who also spells the name Tony Park. The contract date was March 15, 2023.
Jack Franco and Murray Dweck were partners on the building, according to an arbitration, but became embroiled in a dispute.
PD Properties is a brokerage and asset management firm and is not the beneficial owner. Elad Dror of PD Properties represented the buyer while Albert Sultan and Sophia Gaines of Kassin Sabbagh Realty represented the sellers.
In 2015, the property was in default after the partners, who are related by marriage, did not agree on a refinance. Jack Franco is Murray Dweck’s son-in-law. In 2015 the lender filed to foreclose (850109/2015). By 2016 a referee established the total due at the time was $14.8 million.
The parties resolved the dispute through the arbitration, but in 2016, Franco alleged he had not been paid the full award, and sued for the judgment to be fulfilled. (654589/2016)
According to Franco’s petition for the arbitration award, filed by his counsel, Oved & Oved, “In the Arbitration, Petitioners demonstrated that the Dwecks violated, inter alia, their fiduciary duties and express written agreements by scheming to force a sale of their jointly owned building and to interfere with and obstruct a refinancing of the mortgage that is necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the Companies. To date, Respondents’ wrongful conduct has already caused RJF to suffer damages of over $2 Million in default interest alone, which accrues at a rate of $4,193.71 per day, and has excusably forced RJF into an untenable foreclosure, which is currently pending before this Court.” Franco won the judgment case, Dweck appealed twice, but to no avail.
Prior sales and revenue
Prior to this transaction, PincusCo has no record that the buyer MediaWill had purchased any other properties and has no record it sold any properties over the past 24 months.
The seller Jack Franco had not purchased any other properties and had not sold any properties over the same time period.
The mixed-use building in Penn Plaza has 102,145 square feet of built space and 20,930 square feet of additional air rights for a total buildable of 123,120 square feet according to a PincusCo analysis of city data. The parcel has frontage of 62 feet and is 197 feet deep with a total lot size of 12,312 square feet. The zoning is C6-4.5 which allows for up to 12 times floor area ratio (FAR) for commercial The city-designated market value for the property in 2022 is $20.5 million. The most recent loan totaled $15.8 million and was provided by Signature Bank on August 1, 2019.
Violations and lawsuits
There were no lawsuits or bankruptcies filed against the property for the past 24 months. In addition, according to city public data, the property has received four DOB violations and $50 in OATH penalties in the last year.
There are no active new building construction projects or major alteration projects with initial costs more than $1 million on this tax lot.
In Penn Plaza, The majority, or 76 percent of the 20.4 million square feet of commercial built space are office buildings, with hotel buildings next occupying 8 percent of the space. In sales, Penn Plaza has had very little sales volume relative to other neighborhoods with $229.1 million in sales volume in the last two years. For development, Penn Plaza has 1.2 times the average amount of major developments relative to other neighborhoods and is the 23rd highest in Manhattan. It had 1.2 million square feet of commercial and multi-family construction under development in the last two years, which represents 6 percent of the neighborhood’s built space.
On this tax block, PincusCo has identified the owners of five of the six commercial properties representing 1,425,444 square feet of the 1,646,671 square feet. The largest owner is Vornado Realty Trust, followed by Kaufman Investments and then Jack’S World.
There are no active new building construction projects on this tax block.
The majority, or 93 percent of the 1.6 million square feet of built space are office buildings, with mixed-use buildings next occupying 6 percent of the space.
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