Qatar to buy Wildenstein Headquarters: Could be NYC’s Most Expensive Purchase

Wildenstein Headquarters - Upper East Side

Distinguished international art dealers, the Wildenstein family, are set to sell their Upper East Side headquarters/townhouse. The limestone fronted building, located on 19 East 64th Street, was constructed in the depression era in 1929 and opened as a gallery in 1932. This sale is slated to be the most expensive sale in NYC, since the $88 million dollar penthouse purchased in 2011 by the daughter of a Russian fertilizer tycoon. This property was not listed, but had an unofficial asking price of $125 million.

The country of Qatar has signed a contract for $100 million to purchase the Depression Era building.  It will be the new consulate for Qatar, and the first Qatari consulate in New York City, the others being located in Washington D.C. and Dallas. Currently, Qatar’s consulate operates from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Central Park South. Consul General Ahmed Yousef Al-Rumaihi was attracted to the 64th Street Upper East Side townhouse because of it’s ideal location, security enhancements, and history. It helps as well, that the building is move-in ready.

This family townhouse has been in the Wildenstein family for the past five-generations. The building offers 20,500 square feet of space, 41 feet in width, double height ceilings, steel construction, reinforced floors built to accommodate the weight of vaults, all within five stories. A newly constructed parking garage that hold seven cars, made for the townhouse that will be built right next door. Qatar will also be using this building to display artwork from their own artists, which again makes this purchase ideal as it already serves as a gallery and contains all the equipment necessary for such feats.

The legacy of the Wildenstein’s company extends to the turn of the 20th century, being found in 1903 and opening it’s first art gallery in 1932, E 64th Street is the location of their second gallery. The Wildenstein’s are also involved in the non-for-profit sector, and are looking to expand their research, publish catalogue raisonnés and venture into real-estate. “In many ways, it's a little bit the soul of this company and the soul of this family, so seeing it go will be difficult,” says David Wildenstein the 34-year-old new face of the company, according to the Wall Street Journal. His father Guy Wildenstein, President of the company, is currently bogged down with legal issues in Paris unrelated to the sale.