One great folly of the real estate boom was Israeli businessman Lev Leviev's purchase of the old New York Times building near Times Square, which the Gray Lady called home for 90 years before moving to its Renzo Piano-designed skyscraper on Eighth Avenue. At the height of the market Leviev's Africa Israel USA paid $525 million for the 15-story building about two seconds after Tishman Speyer bought it for just $175 million. Leviev has been battling to keep control ever since, and the latest plan called for a 379-room hotel and 26 spacious condos on the top floors, above the Bowlmor Lanes and other tenants that have recently taken some of the retail space. Cancel those reservations, because the Times (obvi) reports that investment giant the Blackstone Group is buying the top 11 floors of 229 West 43rd Street for $160 million. Blackstone will most likely turn the space into offices, which makes sense, because who wouldn't want to work in a place where you can roll a quick 10 frames during lunch?
· Investment Firm Buys Most of the Former Times Building [NYT]
· New York Times Building coverage [Curbed]