Crown Building (New York)

Crown Building

The front of the Crown Building in 2013.
Former names Heckscher Building
General information
Town or city New York City
Country U.S.A.
Coordinates 40°45′46″N 73°58′28″W / 40.762868°N 73.974554°W / 40.762868; -73.974554
Completed 1921
Design and construction
Architecture firm Warren and Wetmore

The Crown Building (formerly known as the Heckscher Building) is a mixed use property located at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City, one of the most expensive retail and office space locations in the United States. The property is an iconic fixture in Midtown Manhattan designed by Warren and Wetmore, architects of the Helmsley Building and Grand Central Terminal.


The Crown Building was originally known as the Heckscher Building, designed by architects Warren and Wetmore and completed in 1921.[1] The building stands 26 stories (416 feet) high. The name was changed to the Crown Building in 1983, attributing its crown-like look when illuminated at night.[1]

The building was purchased in 1981 by then Philipine President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Marcos used international companies to purchase the building secretly, also obtaining help from Ralpy and Joseph Bernstein as well as Adnan Khashoggi.[2]

The Crown Building was the focus of various lawsuits after the fall of the Marcos regime.[2] Numerous parties, including the Philippine government, claimed rights to it. Lawsuits claimed that Marcos entered into various agreements for the building or purchased it with money that was not his.[2] The parties involved agreed to sell the building and split the proceeds in excess of the $89 million mortgage.[2]

Bernard Spitzer acquired the building in 1991 for $95 million. His son and former Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer took over the property after his father's death in 2014.[3] The building was scheduled for auction in late 2014, with Jeff Sutton and General Growth Properties stepping in prior to the auction to purchase the building.[4] The cost was $1.75 billion and included both the 400,000 square-foot tower and 35,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor of the building.[4]

In 2015, the building was again acquired, this time by Michael Shvo in partnership with Vladislav Doronin.[5] General Growth Properties and Wharton properties acquired the retail part of the building. The $1.8 billion purchase was one of the largest in New York City real estate history. It is anticipated that the property will be converted and redeveloped into luxury residences.[5][6]

See also


  1. 1 2 "The Spitzers To Sell The Crown Building For $2 Billion". Jewish Business News. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Hylton, Richard (10 February 1991). "Philippines Gains Little In Marcos Building Sale". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  3. Clarke, Katherine (15 May 2015). "The Son Also Rises". New York Daily News. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  4. 1 2 Welss, Lois (18 December 2014). "GGP & Sutton grab Crown Building for $1.75B+". New York Post. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  5. 1 2 "Shvo, Amanresorts buy non-retail piece of Crown Building for $500M". The Real Deal. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  6. Weiss, Lois (6 April 2015). "Two buyers splitting up top of Crown Building". New York Post. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
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