Business

At 9 West 57th Street, a beguiling art gallery will finally ‘go public,’ according to the source.

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We only publish rumors — ahem, “unconfirmed reports” — when we believe they are true. And this is the one we really want to be true.

It concerns the real estate empire founded by Sheldon H. Solow, the late mega-developer who died in November 2020 at the age of 92. What we heard is possibly, possibly, hopefully — but most likely true.

According to a reliable source, the closed-down Solow Art & Architecture gallery at 9 W. 57th St. will reopen in 2023. Not only that, but the gallery of masterpieces, which is currently only visible from the outside, will be expanded to include another gallery, or an extension of the existing one, on the tower’s West 58th Street side.

We were told that construction would begin soon.

The Solow Art & Architecture Foundation has long resided behind the sidewalk-level windows of 9 West. Since its opening in 1974, it has been one of the city’s most desirable office towers, commanding sky-high rents of more than $100 per square foot long before other buildings.

However, the gallery’s off-limits policy has been criticized because Solow received tax breaks for having a “public” gallery that isn’t open to the public. Art lovers must peer through reflection-clouded windows to see works by Henri Matisse, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, and Franz Kline, among others.

The masterpieces are or were once part of Solow’s illustrious private art collection, which is worth $500 million. In a Sotheby’s auction a year ago, the foundation paid $92.2 million for Sandro Botticelli’s “Young Man Holding a Rondel,” which is not known to have ever been shown in the 9 West gallery.

With the departure of Sheldon Solow, seen here, the gallery is now in the hands of his son, Stefan Soloviev.

Solow saved nearly $33 million in capital gains taxes by selling the painting through the tax-exempt foundation, which he purchased for $1.3 million in 1982.

Stefan Soloviev, Sheldon’s son, now controls the Solow Foundation as well as several companies under the Soloviev Group umbrella, which includes the family-owned firm’s various real estate arms.

Soloviev, a colorful figure with up to 20 children and an explosive temper, told the New York Times shortly after his father’s death that “the collection will be accessible to the public in the future.” When asked where that might be — in a new museum, for example, or elsewhere — he replied, “Wherever I want.”

He did not respond to our requests for comment via e-mail.

We’ve learned that digital sports platform Fanatics has quietly signed a deal for more than 75,000 square feet on three floors of RFR’s 95 Morton, bringing the 220,000-square-foot boutique office building to 100% occupancy. It represents a significant increase for the company, which currently occupies 50,000 square feet at 205 Hudson St.

The lease is strictly confidential.

No one from RFR or Fanatics would comment or confirm the transaction.

Neither would brokers at Cushman & Wakefield representing Fanatics or an Avison Young team representing RFR.

A sign with the Fanatics logo
Fanatics is rushing into a 75,000-square-foot space in the West Village.

However, market sources say the move will allow the company to pursue new ventures in the sports ecosystem, such as licensed merchandise, trading cards, and gaming.

Aby Rosen’s RFR paid $206 million for the century-old former factory building in the West Village in 2017 and converted it into cutting-edge offices.

The notorious empty Upper East Side lot on the southwest corner of First Avenue and East 78th Street will soon have life again — and it won’t be rats and weeds.

The corner lot at 1487 First Ave. was sold for $73.5 million by its longtime family owners to California-based Carmel Partners, according to The Real Deal. The wood-fenced site was despised in the affluent neighborhood for its unchecked vermin infestation and mutant weeds that grew up to 20 feet tall.

Trees can be seen inside the boarded-up exterior of First Avenue and East 78th Street
Locals can expect a residential building to be built on the vexing vacant lot at the corner of First Avenue and East 78th Street now that it has a new owner.

The Post first reported on the situation last month, when incoming City Council member Julie Menin and Rep. Carolyn Maloney attended a neighborhood rally demanding action.

The legislators attempted to persuade the former owners, three sisters from the Chou family, to turn the eyesore into a temporary community garden.

Instead, they sold the property, but Menin persuaded the Chous to put down rat poison and cut the tree-high weeds.

The new owners will most likely construct a small apartment building. Meanwhile, Menin is in discussions with the Parks Department and the city’s Economic Development Corp. about establishing a public garden on a nearby vacant city-owned site in Council District 5.

“We’ve found a location, but it requires approval,” she explained.

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About the author

Akanksha Jain

Akanksha Jain love to learn new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for Startup, Business sections of Editorials99.

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