Banking a building

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Graffiti covered New York building sells to real estate mogul Aby Rosen for £34.8 million – 50,000% more than its photographer owner paid for it in 1973

 

In 1973, photographer Jay Maisel paid $102,000 (the equivalent of £365,000, $545,000 or €501,000) for the six-storey Germania Bank Building at 190 Bowery in New York. He has recently sold it to the real estate mogul Aby Rosen for £34.8 million ($52 million or €47.9 million) – a staggering increase of 50,880% on the price he bought it for.

 

190 Bowery morphed from an elegant bank into a graffiti covered artists’ hangout and now it no doubt will become much smarter once again
Jay Maisel
Aby Rosen

 

Used by Maisel as his home, studio and gallery, Haute Residence reports the building has a “very artists live here vibe” but also retains the original bank vaults in the basement. It has been described as having the feel of being “like a dream world, or a benign version of the vast hotel in The Shining” and includes 72 rooms, an original copper caged elevator.

 

When New York Magazine featured the 35,000 square foot building in 2008, the majority of agents questioned estimated its value at between £20.1 million and £33.5 million ($30 million and $50 million or €27.6 million and €46 million). At the time, Maisel said he’d never sell and commented: “It would be great to take the money and run. But let’s face it, where are we going to go? A three-room apartment?” His wife, Linda, added: “One [agent] called me a bitch because I told him the building wasn’t for sale”.

 

The original bank vault is still in situ
The Maisels created many galleries within the space
The ground floor would originally have housed the banking hall
Mr and Mrs Maisel created a roof terrace on the top floor that has stunning views over New York

 

Rosen, on the other hand, was once described as a man who “always likes to keep a couple of thousand bucks in [his] pocket”. Now, he’s a man with a vault to put his millions in instead.

 

 

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