The Flatiron Building sold at a live auction on Wednesday for $190 million.
For about 45 minutes, real estate heavyweights waged a fierce bidding battle for the iconic landmark — one-upping each other by at least $500,000 at a time.
NY1 watched it all unfold, and got exclusive remarks from the winner of the auction, Jacob Garlick.
"It's been my lifelong dream of mine since I'm 14 years old. I've worked every day of my life to be in this position," Garlick said. "We are honored to be a steward of this historic building, and it will be our life's mission to preserve its integrity forever."
The public auction was held outside of the state Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan. It attracted dozens of people looking to witness real estate history.
"I didn't want to miss this iconic moment," said Tom Brady, a real estate broker from Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Brady added that the final bid was fair, but higher than he anticipated.
"Look, you're talking about one of the most famous buildings in the world — iconic," he said. "One of the most photographed manmade structures in the entire world, and I think it's kudos to the new owner."
Before the auction, the Flatiron Building was owned by a consortium of real estate companies, but they disagreed about renovations and future tenants. A judge forced them to put the building on the auction block.
The building's last office tenant, MacMillan Publishers, which occupied all 21 office floors, moved out in 2019.
The owners pushed out the ground floor retail to renovate the antiquated structure, spending $100 million to reduce its carbon footprint and bring it into the 21st century.
One of the building's previous owners, Jeffrey Gural of GFP Real Estate, was Garlick's fiercest competitors. Asked if he had any words for the winner he responded, "I wish you hadn't shown up."
But the bidding got too high. Gural calling for a timeout, and while conferring with someone, said: "It's not worth it."
"I was kind of shocked, to tell you the truth. I never thought that someone would bid so much for the building. It's a beautiful building, but it needs $100 million of upgrades. It's basically empty," he said.
The winning $190 million bid was nearly four times higher than the opening bid of $50 million.
It's unclear what Garlick will do with the land marked structure: keep it an office building, turn it into a hotel or condos, or all three. New York and the world will be watching.