Tif­fany build­ing sells for $20 mil­lion

Prominent Worth Av­enue spot long owned by fam­ily en­tity.

Palm Beach Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By DAR­RELL HOFHEINZ

One of Worth Av­enue’s most rec­og­niz­able build­ings — home to Tif­fany & Co. — has changed hands for $20 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to a deed recorded Tues­day.

The price paid for 259 Worth Ave. works out to about $1,221 per square foot.

The buyer is New York City-based Fortress In­vest­ment Group LLC, an in­vest­ment man­age­ment firm, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased Wed­nes­day by Franklin Street, the Tampa-based com­mer­cial bro­ker­age that han­dled the sale.

The buyer was not im­me­di­ately iden­ti­fied in the pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion about the sale posted on the Palm Beach County Clerk’s web­site.

The build­ing was sold by Mad­den Fam­ily As­so­ci­ates Ltd., an en­tity con­trolled by a fam­ily that has owned the prop­erty for sev­eral decades, prop­erty records show.

The two-story build­ing has 16,374 square feet and stands in the mid­dle of the Av­enue at the corner of Hibiscus Av­enue, across the street from Chanel.

A build­ing has stood on the corner since at least the 1930s and many years ago housed Cartier jew­el­ers. In the early 1990s, the fa­cade got a cladding of coral Key stone as part of a ren­o­va­tion project de­signed by Smith Ar­chi­tec­tural Group.

The build­ing has been mar­keted for sale since late 2016 by Franklin Street. At that time, The Palm Beach Post re­ported that the bro­ker­age ex­pected the build­ing might fetch as much as $40 mil­lion.

“The orig­i­nal list­ing price seemed in­cred­i­bly un­re­al­is­tic,” said West Palm Beach com­mer­cial bro­ker Neil Merin, chair­man of NAI Merin Hunter Cod­man Inc., who was not in­volved with the sale. “If (the sellers) were in­tent on sell­ing it, they got the right price.”

Tif­fany & Co. has signed a long-term lease at the build­ing, ac­cord­ing to a Franklin Street spokesman. Jeff Sabean, gen­eral man­ager at Tif­fany’s Worth Av­enue store, couldn’t be reached.

Fortress In­vest­ment Group is a pub­licly traded “global in­vest­ment man­ager” with about $41.4 bil­lion of as­sets un­der man­age­ment as of June 30, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s web­site. The firm was founded in 1998 and man­ages as­sets for more than 1,750 in­sti­tu­tional clients and pri­vate in­vestors, the web­site says. The

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