Amancio Ortega, the retired founder of the Inditex fashion retail chain, and the world’s second-richest man, has announced the purchase of the historic Haughwout Building, one of Manhattan’s oldest surviving commercial premises, built in 1857.
Local media report that Ortega’s Ponte Gadea real estate company has paid €133 million for the five-story building, located on the corner of Broadway and Broome Street, in the city’s SoHo district.
The building was the first in the United States to install a hydraulic elevator
In 2010, the Corcoran real estate company renewed its lease for a further five years on the second and third floors of the building, which was the first in the United States to install a hydraulic elevator. Its innovative cast-iron structure means it is also regarded by some as one of the world’s first skyscrapers.
The iconic building was designed by John Gaynor and first occupied by the Haughwout Emporium, which sold imported cut-glass, china ware, and chandeliers. It later fell into disrepair, but was completely overhauled in the late 1990s, and is listed on the US Register of Historic Places.