Rockrose sues for partition of 58K loft building, following success in Nomad
By Adam Pincus
Rockrose Development has just a 13 percent stake in 121 East 24th Street, a 58,744-square-foot midblock commercial building with 12 stories on a 50-foot wide lot, and it is suing to force a partition sale of the property, which is co-owned by itself and entities with addresses at Adams & Company, a multigenerational Midtown South owner and brokerage.
PincusCo estimates the property was valued at $24.2 million in 2020, based on a 16.5 percent stake in the building that sold for $4 million in December 2020, the most recent sale recorded. The property was built in approximately 1913, according to city records. Rockrose acquired its stake for a total of $4.5 million in early 2020, in three transactions from three different sellers at $1.5 million each, in which it bought a 4.33 percent stake in the property from each.
This is part of a trend of commercial owners suing to force a sale, when they believe the properties are underutilized but they cannot or don’t want to execute a revised business plan under the current ownership structure. They use the powerful legal tool of partition to force the sale.
Rockrose had success with the strategy last year. The Elghanayan family-led firm filed a partition suit in 2020 (New York County 153143/2020) and was successful in obtaining full control of the Nomad office building at 11 East 26th Street, also managed by Adams & Company, last year. Rockrose paid $148.2 million for just over 50 percent of the 11 East 26th Street, owned by dozens of entities and individuals, as PincusCo reported at the time.
Rockrose declined to comment on this latest partition effort.
Arguably, the highest profile partition suit is over ownership of the landmarked Flatiron Building at 175 Fifth Avenue. The Gural family’s GFP Holdings, Sorgente Group and ABS Real Estate Partners collectively own 75 percent of the building, and Nathan Silverstein owns the remaining 25 percent. According to the petition filed in July 2021 seeking partition, the majority owners are losing large sums of money and are deadlocked with Silverstein over how to manage the building.