Flatiron Building Going Italian

Foreign investors buy majority stake in 22-story building

An Italian real estate investor has bought a majority stake in the landmark Flatiron Building and plans to turn it into a luxury hotel.

Officials of the Sorgente Group, which now controls just over 50 percent of the triangle-shaped building, would not say how much they paid for their share.

"This is one of the world's most spectacular trophy properties," said Sorgente CEO Valter Mainetti. "We will treat the Flatiron like the work of art that it is."

The total value of the 22-story building, the world's first steel-frame skyscraper, is estimated to be worth $190 million.

Sorgente says it plans to buy more shares in the building, built in 1902, with an eye towards turning it into a world-class hotel.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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