NEW YORK CITY-Madison Avenue has historically been one of America’s most popular shopping destinations. The 777 Madison Investments Associates LP has decided to sell the property and has retained New York-based independent real estate investment banking firm Sonneblick-Goldman to sell it. While neither the owner nor the seller would release the asking price, insiders close to the deal say the property’s prestigious location at the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and East 66th Street, they expect to do quite well.

The century-old building, designed by Harde & Short, at 777 Madison Avenue, has 5,167 sf of ground floor retail space. Of that retail space, 100 feet lines Madison Avenue. There is an additional 2,582 sf of basement space with the property. Among the building’s tenants are upscale boutiques Fred Leighton, David Berk, La Perla and Charles Jourdan.

Industry insiders tell that what will draw buyers to the property is the fact that the lease on two different boutiques will end in four years, opening the door for rent hikes. The tenants are reportedly paying considerably below what comparable space can command. Also, every lease in the building is subject to periodic increases.

The property is termed a retail condominium by the sellers and is located at the base of a residential cooperative. The coop’s address is 45 East 66th St. and is not part of this sale deal. The sellers note that the “ornate landmark façade” certainly won’t hurt create atmosphere for the property and attract buyers.

“Madison Avenue is the preferred shopping destination among the truly elite, and a street level presence virtually guarantees the best exposure, as well as the ability to generate sales per sf far in excess of anywhere else in the country. 777 Madison Avenue’s architectural impressiveness makes it one of the most recognizable buildings in Manhattan, and it is undoubtedly ground zero of the upscale retail world,” said Andrew Oliver, managing director of Sonnenblick-Goldman in a written statement–points repeated by spokespeople for the deal and those close to it.

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