- Last Updated: 10:02 PM, October 29, 2012
- Posted: 10:02 PM, October 29, 2012
The original, iconic Bowlmor Lanes at 110 University Pl. has a new landlord: Billy Macklowe, who bought long-term control of the building through a complicated “sandwich” lease position, sources said.
Macklowe — fresh off closing on his purchase of the office building at 386 Park Ave. South a few weeks ago — bought the Bowlmor leasehold from a partnership which had long controlled the roughly 60,000-square-foot property near Union Square.
Adding to the complexity, sources said the leasehold had previously been split into two separate pieces held by different partnerships. The building is also home to a GMC garage. Bensemon Investments has held title to the address since 1976, according to public records.
Bowlmor has been at its current location since 1938. Once strictly a place for serious bowlers, in recent decades it’s become a celebrity mecca with broad popular appeal.
Parent company Strike Holdings, founded by Tom Shannon, also owns the giant new Bowlmor near Times Square and branches in five other states. But it’s the original facility steps from thriving Union Square that has the mystique.
Precisely how Macklowe’s deal was structured couldn’t be pinned down due to the storm. So confused was the situation that it first appeared that Harry Macklowe, Billy’s father, was the buyer, which proved false. The men now run entirely separate companies.
Numerous calls to Billy Macklowe’s office and his rep were not returned.
A call to Avison Young broker Vincent Carrega, who was said to have been involved in the deal, was not returned yesterday.
Our sources said Billy Macklowe’s move effectively makes him the landlord of Bowlmor, as well as the garage and other businesses at the address, for the next 72 years.
It was not known how many years Bowlmor has left on its own lease, nor whether the change of landlord would have any effect on it.
But sources said Macklowe’s investment could be a strategic move with an eye toward future redevelopment potential. A new structure of around 125,000 square feet could replace the nondescript current structure as of right, insiders noted.
An eerie silence has descended since we reported last week that Related Cos. was trying to change aspects of its long-term lease with the MTA for the 26-acre Hudson Yards site.
Last Tuesday, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota told us Related was seeking to “amend” unspecified aspects of the deal, which was written up two years ago but has yet to close. That followed a day of denials by Related that they wanted to change anything.