Magnum Real Estate Group will accept bitcoin as consideration for the sale of three ground-level shops worth US$29 million at a luxury residential project in Manhattan, making it another commercial development in New York City to accept the promising but volatile digital currency.
The shops at 385 First Avenue, also known as CODA, covers more than 9,000 square feet of space, and are currently leased to M&T Bank, restaurant Mighty Pita, and clinic ProHEALTH Urgent Care. Buyers will get access to immediate cash flow because they are fully built-out and already generating income, the developer said.
“We are a pioneer in bitcoin transactions and see a path where many more transactions can be done using blockchain,” said Ben Shaoul, managing partner of New York-based Magnum, which has a US$4 billion portfolio of real estate assets.
Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.
The move makes CODA the first major income-generating asset to be offered to bitcoin believers. Any future resale of the retail spaces can be done in the currency, depending on the buyer’s preference, Shaoul said. The firm has also sold all the apartments above the retail spaces, of which some were also paid for in cryptocurrencies.
Based on the US$29 million valuation, the properties are worth about 641 bitcoin based on current exchange rate.
“I expect about two or three additional transactions in bitcoin this year for Magnum,” said Shaoul, noting interest in luxury homes such as penthouses in Miami, flats in New York City and mansions in Beverly Hills.
Potential buyers from anywhere, including Hongkongers or mainland Chinese, can buy properties, said Sonny Singh, chief commercial officer of BitPay, the world’s largest provider of bitcoin and cry...