The historic renaissance building at 281 Park Ave. South that took down the convicted con artist Anna Delvey, born Anna Sorokin, has hit the market for a whopping $135 million.
Priced more than five times what Delvey was trying to raise to lease the building for her namesake foundation – the property was last purchased in 2014 by Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty for $50 million.
RFR owns more than 90 properties valued at more than $15.5 billion throughout New York City, Miami, Las Vegas and Tel Aviv.
The firm bought the property from the nonprofit Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, which paid $910,000 for it in 1963.
Following RFR’s ownership, they proceeded to undergo a $30 million renovation project, and signed a 15-year lease with Fotografiska — a museum of world-class photography — in 2017.
It was around that time that Delvey had the idea to sign a lease on the place herself. The fraudster’s vision for the iconic six-story, 45,000-square-foot New York City landmark included her own private club, otherwise known as the “Anna Delvey Foundation.”
The building, which is considered a New York City historic landmark is made up of six stories.
Veronika, the buzzy restaurant located on the second floor.
Her scheme was to lure in potential investors with the pitch that it would be an exclusive and dynamic night club while simultaneously a visual arts center, hotel, German bakery, and a juice bar.
When Delvey discovered that Fotografiska was close to signing the lease, New York Magazine reported that she was enraged: “How do they even pay for that? It’s like two old guys.”
The effort to lease the building ultimately landed her in the slammer. An investigation into why she was unable to pay $100,000 legal fees she had racked up from the application to lease the building had come to light.
Anna Sorokin better known as Anna Delvey, the German national, whose family moved there in 2007 from Russia, is seen in the courtroom during her trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York on April 11, 2019.
The listing, which is held by Tal and Oren Alexander’s new firm, OFFICIAL, is made up of the museum space on three floors, the Veronika restaurant on the second, an events space on the top floor and a private-club bar in the adjacent chapel.
“281 Park Avenue South was very well known to New Yorkers before the TV show,” Tal Alexander told The Post, referring to the Netflix show, “Inventing Anna,” based on Delvey’s fraudster life. “It’s one of the most instantly recognizable buildings in the city. I think what Inventing Anna did was put the building on a much bigger stage. People visiting from all over the world now come to take selfies with the building.”
When asked about the hefty price tag, Tal explained it was “in line with what you would expect from an asset of this caliber.”
“The buyer profile for 281 Park Avenue South is a collector of trophy real estate — both residential and commercial,” he added. “RFR contacted us about the opportunity because we have had tremendous success with that buyer profile in the past.”
Interiors of 281 Park Ave. South.
“Netflix’s decision to highlight Anna Delvey’s interest in 281 Park Ave South was, for us, simply another layer in the storied history of the iconic building and sought-after New York location,” Josh Wyatt, CEO of Fotografiska’s global holding company CultureWorks, told The Post.
“It’s hard to fully assess the direct business impact but we know how much success we’re having right now with Fotografiska, Verōnika, and Chapel. And we loved being a part of that cultural moment. We managed to have some real fun with it and even had a reference to the show displayed on our Park Avenue-facing window around the airing of the series.”
Meanwhile, Wyatt revealed they have no plans of leaving the iconic building anytime soon. Their lease doesn’t expire for another decade, and they plan on on going will beyond that time.
“The Fotografiska brand DNA is to hand-pick locations with architectural significance, history, and connection to a city – so 281 Park Ave has become a core pillar of of Fotografiska New York’s burgeoning story,” Wyatt explained. “We are truly excited to continue to evolve our Fotografiska New York story for many years to come.”
Located in the upscale Gramercy Park neighborhood, the building was designed by architects R.W. Gibson and E.J.N. Stent — and commissioned by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1892.