JLL Capital Markets has been retained to sell 245 West 55th St., a 12-story commercial loft building in Midtown that was home to the legendary DuArt film processing company for nearly 100 years.
DuArt was founded by Al Young in the penthouse of 245 West 55th St. when it was operated as an automobile garage in 1922. The company grew to iconic status under his son, Irwin, who helped directors including Spike Lee, Michael Moore and Frederick Wiseman early in their careers, and earned an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 2000.
For many years, major studios used DuArt to process and develop their film and the company’s credits include such blockbusters as Dirty Dancing, The Cider House Rules and Forrest Gump. The company pioneered a number of film making technologies at 245 West 55th St. and, as the industry turned from film to digital processing, Young made astute investments to help insulate DuArt from distress, including acquiring its headquarters building.
However, just prior to his death in February 2022, DuArt announced it was ceasing media services operations and planned to put its longtime home up for sale. The 69,168-square-foot office building is situated a few blocks south of Central Park and has 60 feet of frontage along West 55th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway.
Constructed in 1914, the building has original exposed brickwork and ceiling heights ranging from 12 feet and 5 inches to over 16 feet. Floorplates are approximately 5,961 square feet, and there are two passenger elevators in addition to a freight elevator.
The JLL team representing the seller includes New York Investment Sales Chairman Bob Knakal, Managing Director Jonathan Hageman, Directors Luca Cobucci and Harry Hochman and Associates Kevin Campfield and Jacob Russell.
“We are honored to bring this iconic property in one of Manhattan’s most active neighborhoods to market,” said Knakal. “It presents an opportunity for investors to immediately reposition the asset into a first-class boutique office or to utilize flexible zoning to convert to residential use.”
245 West 55th St. enjoys a prime location within three blocks of eight train lines, while also offering close proximity to many of New York City attractions, such as Carnegie Hall, Radio City, Rockefeller Center and Central Park. Its neighbors in the Theater District include multiple recording studios, record label offices, theatrical agencies, television studios, restaurants, movie theaters and hotels.
JLL Capital Markets is a full-service global provider of capital solutions for real estate investors and occupiers. The firm’s in-depth local market and global investor knowledge delivers the best-in-class solutions for clients — whether investment sales and advisory, debt advisory, equity advisory or a recapitalization. The firm has more than 3,000 Capital Markets specialists worldwide with offices in nearly 50 countries.
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