‘Nine West’ owner debunks reported deal to sell NYC tower

The owners of 9 West 57th Street insist they have no plans to sell the iconic property, one of Manhattan’s premier office towers, despite a bombshell report which claimed a deal was in the works.

“There are no plans to sell the building,”  Hayden Soloviev, a son of and a spokesman for Soloviev Group chairman Stefan Soloviev told Realty Check.

“The news must’ve been mixed up with the residential sales,” Hayden Soloviev speculated. (Soloviev Group has in fact been selling off some of its luxury rental apartment buildings).

An article in the Real Deal last month set off a wild guessing game when it reported that Stefan was “finalizing an agreement” to sell 9 West. It cited a source as saying that high-profile real estate investor Michael Shvo was part of the purchasing group.

A source outside the Soloviev family told us, “If there ever was a group trying to buy 9 West, Shvo wasn’t part of it.”

But Hayden told us, “No, there never was a deal. People call us all the time asking us if we want to sell various properties, both in New York and out west. Somebody’s probably trying to make a name for themself.”

If such a deal were ever to happen, it would be a huge breakthrough for the sagging investment-sale market. The tower was last appraised at $3.4 billion in 2016.

The skyscraper enjoys a mythic stature in Manhattan commercial real estate, so unique that it’s usually called simply “Nine West.” Completed by the late developer Sheldon Solow, Stefan’s father, in 1972, it is famed for its massive presence on the block between Fifth and Sixth avenues, unparalleled Central Park views, and top-tier tenants.

It was also known for bitter legal battles between Solow and former tenants such as Morgan Guaranty Trust, Avon, and Arista Records when Solow alleged that they didn’t properly restore their spaces after they moved out.

A picture of Solow Building at 9 West 57th Street.
The skyscraper is a mythic stature in Manhattan commercial real estate.
Brian Zak/NY Post

Tenants in today’s more peaceful times include Apollo Global Management, D1 Capital Partners, Chanel, and, most recently, Loews Corp., which signed for 65,000 square feet in October. Rents in the 1.4 million-square-foot tower are in the $200 per square foot range.

Hayden Soloviev also told us that plans remain on track to open the tower’s controversial, tax-exempt art gallery to the public — as we first reported in January.

“As we’ve stated previously, my father plans to open the gallery in the second half of 2023, when the remodeling of 9 West 57th Street finishes. The gallery will be at 9 West 57th Street,” Hayden said.

The gallery displays masterpieces by Matisse, Giacometti, and Francis Bacon but they’re only visible from the street. Critics have long argued that because the family art foundation enjoys tax-exempt status, the gallery should be open to the public as IRS rules require.