Italian Group Plans to Buy Stake in NYC's Flatiron

June 12, 2008 8:55:41 AM PDT
An Italian property group said Thursday it is in advanced talks to take a majority stake in Manhattan's landmark Flatiron Building - one of the first skyscrapers in America. The family-run Sorgente Group is trying to acquire a 32 percent stake, on top of the 20-percent interest it previously bought from property broker Newmark Knight Frank, the company which controls the building.

Sorgente Group said there are plans to renovate the 102-year-old building in the heart of Manhattan and possibly turn it into a luxury hotel. The total value of the building is $180 million, the group said.

The group is also buying the company managing the rights to the name's trademark and the building's distinctive image, which made it a symbol of New York.

Sorgente Group, which focuses on buying buildings and landmarks worldwide, also owns a 27.7 percent stake in the Chrysler Building.