River Club secures future in deal to buy space it's leased since 1931
Upper East Side The River House is selling its storied 62,000-square-foot space on the East Side to its longtime tenant, the River Club, for $36.1 million, sources tell Our Town.
A member said the club is taking out a $15 million bank loan, combined with capital from the club itself and loans from some members. As part of the deal, members will have to pay a one-time fee of $15,000-$18,000 in addition to their yearly dues. Membership dues run at about $10,000 a year.
"Each member's assessment is going to be $15,000 to $18,000 extra on top of their yearly dues because some may drop out," said the member, who plans on remaining with the club and spoke on condition of anonymity because members were asked not to share details of the deal.
The River Club has been located in the River House at 447 East 52nd Street since the 26-story art-deco co-op was built in 1931. Many River House shareholders are members of the club, which sits above the East River and boasts a 62-foot indoor swimming pool, a restaurant, tennis and squash courts, a card room, and a private garden overlooking the river.
In recent years the club has faced much needed capital improvements and has reportedly been operating at a loss, as members aged and new memberships dropped off. In September of last year, the River House placed the club's premises on the market for a record-setting $130 million, billing it as a single-family home.
Nobody bit at that price. All the while, the club and its members have been angling to buy the space and secure its survival. In February, the River Club announced it had signed a letter of intent to buy its space from the River House for $45 million, and that negotiations were ongoing.
Management at the River Club did not return multiple requests for comment.