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#1986719 - 11/14/12 06:49 PM Steinway Hall in NY - Sold?  
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According to the earnings report conference call last Tuesday, Steinway Hall in New York is in the process of being sold.

The deal is not final, and they wouldn't say who the buyer is, but the price for the building is $56 million. According to Wikipedia, that would be a $6 million loss over what they paid for it in 1999. In discussing the deal, they never referred to Steinway Hall but to the 57th Street property.

Hard to tell what's going on in that company. No new news on selling the band division to the Messina group. They've shelled out at least a couple of million bucks to consultants exploring their "strategic alternatives". Seems like throwing money down the drain.

Sales are down a bit in the U.S., flat in Europe and booming in China and Japan. In the past there was mention that Japan was becoming too expensive and it was hurting Boston sales. No mention of that in the last call.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
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#1986785 - 11/14/12 09:33 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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In the USA they've priced themselves out of the market.

#1986801 - 11/14/12 10:28 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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I haven't seen that reported elsewhere yet, but I would not be surprised. I'm glad I visited last month when I did.


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#1986828 - 11/14/12 11:00 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: PianoWorksATL]  
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According to Bloomberg News- 195m

fingers


Playing piano at age 2, it was thought that I was some sort of idiot-savant. As it turns out, I'm just an idiot.
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#1986876 - 11/14/12 11:39 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: fingers]  
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Originally Posted by fingers
According to Bloomberg News- 195m

fingers


The 195 covers the land and building. Steinway Musical Instruments only owns the building.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
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#1986893 - 11/15/12 12:17 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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Played a bunch of new B's today at Fields Piano in Orange County, which has been selling pianos for many years in the LA area and is in the process of converting to a full-fledged Steinway showroom, which will mean Steinway/Boston/Essex only. Anyway played these five new B's, and they were each quite different from the other - as different in sound as different makes of piano are from each other - wondering what others consider the "Steinway sound" to be, if there is such a thing. Also played a 1905 'D' - wonderful old buffalo, full of character.

#1986894 - 11/15/12 12:34 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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Originally Posted by Plowboy
Originally Posted by fingers
According to Bloomberg News- 195m

fingers


The 195 covers the land and building. Steinway Musical Instruments only owns the building.


- Land lease? I've never been too swift in matters concerning real estate. smile

fingers


Playing piano at age 2, it was thought that I was some sort of idiot-savant. As it turns out, I'm just an idiot.
#1987003 - 11/15/12 10:38 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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I guess the question that comes to mind is that buildings proximity to Carnegie Hall is very convenient for artists and transport of pianos from the basement to Carnegie. I wonder if Steinway will lease space to retain that location?

#1987197 - 11/15/12 06:42 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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To Mark - The Steinway sound - lots of overtones

#1987237 - 11/15/12 09:26 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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#1987434 - 11/16/12 12:49 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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And this in MMR ( Musical Merchandise Review )

Steinway to Sell Landmark Hall
It’s being reported that Waltham-Mass. based Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its building near Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall at 109 W 57th Street for $195 million.

Steinway anticipates proceeds of $56.3 million, of which $20 million will be held in escrow until the company vacates the space it occupies, according to a regulatory filing (LVB) signed by CEO Michael Sweeney. The filing doesn’t specify a buyer or say precisely when or whether Steinway would leave the building. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the calendar year, however.

Steinway Hall has been the flagship store of the company’s Steinway & Sons unit, according to its website. The location is described as a Beaux Arts landmark, with a 19th-century Viennese crystal chandelier and ceiling decorated with allegorical scenes of lions, elephants, goddesses and nymphs, painted by artist Paul Arndt.


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#1987440 - 11/16/12 12:59 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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So does this mean Steinway will no longer have a dealership there or just that the building is being sold and Steinway would rent the space for a dealership there? Or is this undecided/unknown at present? It would be a great shame if Steinway Hall was to close.

Is the 57th dealership the largest Steinway dealership in the world?

#1987561 - 11/16/12 06:27 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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This would be very sad news if Steinway Hall were no more. I enjoyed my visits there so much -- glad I went when I did! (and I was treated very nicely even though I was not there to buy).


Sophia

#1987563 - 11/16/12 06:39 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: sophial]  
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Originally Posted by sophial
This would be very sad news if Steinway Hall were no more. I enjoyed my visits there so much -- glad I went when I did! (and I was treated very nicely even though I was not there to buy).


Sophia


I agree Sophia,

Kathy and I visited Steinway Hall in September, and we too were treated very well.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1966556/

It's a beautiful building and a tradition for piano lovers to visit while in New York (as is Piano Row on W. 58th)


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#1987573 - 11/16/12 07:11 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Bob]  
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Originally Posted by Bob
I guess the question that comes to mind is that buildings proximity to Carnegie Hall is very convenient for artists and transport of pianos from the basement to Carnegie. I wonder if Steinway will lease space to retain that location?


They have a lorry or several, to transport pianos and have the people to handle these matter. They can re establish a dealership anywhere else in Greater New York City or neighbouring cities where it is much cheaper to buy land, build houses or rent them, compared with "Piano Row" W 58th St. in the core of Manhattan near Central Park.

Wasn't there a newly established museum and a giant shop on Long Island, also owned by Steinway & Sons? They can do their business from there.

The business consultants will say: "Concentrate on core business!" & "Cut avoidable costs!"

So a piano scenery landmark might disappear - from Midtown Manhattan, maybe. But will be reestablished at another location. If the Rikers Plant has enough space, they can offer pianos also there.

But maybe Steinway will again rent their formerly owned house? Like they did with Steinway Hall before..?..

If the new owner will not immediately have another purpose for that building, the Steinway business may stay inside on rental basis?

I think I should speed up my plans to go for a visit to the USA.. ;-) ..to see Old Steinway Hall.

...old? First Steinway Hall was established 1866 on 14th Street.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steinway_Hall

In this article yet no change is mentioned as intended. Might there be no change? or is it "slow Wikipedia"? ..wondering..


Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain
#1987579 - 11/16/12 07:33 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: BerndAB]  
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When I was asked to help a NY concert hall pick out a new S&S D about a year ago, it was not Steinway Hall we were taken to, it was their facility in Queens. So clearly some of the selection process already takes place there.

But there's nothing like the cachet of Steinway Hall with its painted domed ceiling, fine furnishings, hushed atmosphere and discreet desks for the staff. I hope they can stay there, even as a rental.

And surely they're not going to ask world-renowned artists to travel to Queens to make their selections!

#1987637 - 11/16/12 11:07 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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Could it be that, among perhaps more basic economic reasons their location attracted also many buyers to "piano row" who then did end up not buying from them?

Guarantee the competition ain't very happy with the move.

Steinway for years, had their own, far away location from all others at NAMM show too.

Sadly, a historic New York landmark gone.

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 11/16/12 11:08 PM.

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#1987729 - 11/17/12 09:28 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Norbert]  
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Originally Posted by Norbert
Could it be that, among perhaps more basic economic reasons their location attracted also many buyers to "piano row" who then did end up not buying from them?
Probably not as the Piano Row stores have been there for 10-20 years or more. Before that there were Baldwin and Yamaha dealers within one block of Steinway Hall.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/17/12 10:05 AM.
#1987732 - 11/17/12 09:36 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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They may well be leaving the space, but the sale of the property by itself doesn't necessarily mean that will happen.

Companies frequently continue to occupy all or some space in buildings they dispose of in "sale and leaseback" transactions. Depending on applicable tax and accounting issues, such a deal can end up being financially positive both for buyer and seller.


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#1987739 - 11/17/12 09:52 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: ClsscLib]  
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
They may well be leaving the space, but the sale of the property by itself doesn't necessarily mean that will happen.

Companies frequently continue to occupy all or some space in buildings they dispose of in "sale and leaseback" transactions. Depending on applicable tax and accounting issues, such a deal can end up being financially positive both for buyer and seller.


Good point.
McGraw-Hill (publishing company in NY) did exactly that.
They sold their building, at a profit, and then leased space in it.


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#1987745 - 11/17/12 10:15 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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I thought I read that part of the purchase price was being held until they vacate.

This would argue that they won't be doing a lease-back.


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#1987750 - 11/17/12 10:41 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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Hmmnn Steve,
That does seem to indicate they are leaving the hall.

We have a few Steinway company people among our members (and more watch the forums).

I've emailed one hoping he might consider straightening things out for us, although I'm
sure that will depend on the companies "official" position.

It would be a shame for them to have to leave that beautiful old building, but I know business is business.



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#1987760 - 11/17/12 11:36 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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End of an era. Is this the beginning of the dismantling of Steinway & Sons as we know it? I have a hard time imagining that an Asian owner really cares or even understands what the S&S building, no less S&S itself means to Americans, New Yorkers and American pianists. In addition to the iconic brand, S&S also represents our glimmer of hope that America can still manufacturer a world class product, even in New York City.

If in fact Astoria is only putting out 1,500 pianos a year, things are very dire indeed for this great institution. How long can the factory exist? Having taken the tour of the factory earlier this year and seeing the size and complication of the plant is amazing. And probably amazingly expensive to maintain, especially in Queens. I'm afraid the writing is on the wall that future viewers of "Note By Note" will view it as a quaint historical memoir, instead of a documentary on a contemporary subject.

At least we will have all the Steinway pianos out there as testament of what was, even into the 21st century. That's if any pianos remain here in the United States, as opposed to most of them eventually being gobbled up and sent overseas to China and the Pacific Rim. China is already Steinway's biggest customer. With the Chinese population growing and becoming more prosperous, the demand for Steinways in the East will continue, even with the demise of S&S as we know it. So, it may come a day when a Steinway piano in North America may become as rare as hens' teeth.

This will be a boom to the rebuilders, but probably a big blow to the popularity of piano playing, so in the end, no one winds (except maybe Samick).

So sad and there is nothing we can do to stop the eventuality.

#1987766 - 11/17/12 11:57 AM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: nylawbiz]  
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Originally Posted by nylawbiz
End of an era. Is this the beginning of the dismantling of Steinway & Sons as we know it?


Hard to say. Kirkland and Messina are out. I think that might be a good thing. They said they were losing $5 million per year on the building, not sure why.

This deal of selling the band division to Messina and his crew smells, though.

Samick has a huge interest in the company. That might be a good thing, they are piano makers. Haven't they left Seiler in Germany alone since that buy out?

Reading between the lines of some of the last SEC filings, I bet Samick will end up making Bostons.


Gary
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#1987767 - 11/17/12 12:00 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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Hello everyone -
There is not too much I can add at this point - other than to say that the announcement as reported by MMR is correct. Please remember that the building was sold once before - but we remained as tenants - and ultimately repurchased the building. The sky didn't fall, and the world did not come to an end. Nor will it this time, should this sale close.

We are certainly committed to the New York market, and will continue to have a major presence there.

As a 31 year Steinway & Sons employee, I can appreciate both sides of this. Steinway Hall is a facility that has been much more than a retail store, that's for sure. Yet if we step back and look at this objectively, it is not unreasonable for a company to look at all the factors involved in such a decision - then make the decision that they believe to ultimately be in the company's best interest. In fact, it would be irresponsible NOT to do so.

Lastly, and in response to the comments above that suggest this decision is indicative that Steinway is on the way out: nothing could be further from the truth. We've been around a long time - and have weathered many storms (including the very recent and literal storm). As far as whether this is the beginning of "the dismantling of Steinway & Sons": absolutely not! Our factory remains very busy, and our company continues to be profitable. the number of retail stores we now own is much higher than was the case 10 years ago. This has to do with one specific (an incredibly well known) retail location. It by no means suggests anything beyond that as to the overall future of Steinway & Sons - other than that our commitment to remain and thrive has not changed. Consider New York just for one last minute: 20 years ago, we had one major location. Today, we have four.

Our commitment to the New York retail market has grown; it has not diminished, nor will it.

I appreciate the fact that so many care about this. Thank you.




Bob Snyder
Senior District Manager
Steinway & Sons

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#1987775 - 11/17/12 12:22 PM Re: Steinway Hall [Re: Plowboy]  
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Glad to hear from you Bob, and the positive information and opinion you have shared. You know of my affection for S&S, I only hope for the best for the company.

If production is in fact down to 1,500 units a year, I can not imagine how such a small production can support a huge plant such as Astoria. I understand that rebuilding and parts has to help, but still, . . . How does a factory that size, located on what is now prime real estate in New york City, stay in place? Like so many businesses, S&S's New York real estate holdings may be too value to keep. The temptation to a CFO is too much. Looks like that was the motivation for the 57th Street deal, can an Astoria deal be far behind?


#1987801 - 11/17/12 01:29 PM Re: Steinway Hall in NY - Sold? [Re: Plowboy]  
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Quote
China is already Steinway's biggest customer. With the Chinese population growing and becoming more prosperous, the demand for Steinways in the East will continue,


This is true but to my information these are all Hamburgs.

Please someone correct me if this is wrong.

Norbert


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#1987813 - 11/17/12 02:05 PM Re: Steinway Hall in NY - Sold? [Re: Plowboy]  
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I think you're right Norbert, but that is a result of how historically pianos were marketed by S&S. I believe that they have always supplied the East from Hamburg. Astoria was to cover the Western Hemisphere. So, the population of old Steinways in China are probably 99% Hamburgs. That's what the Chinese know. The NY Steinway is a great instrument, not any less than a Hamburg. We can argue over the differences, but I doubt there is a pianist from anywhere in the world, including China, who wouldn't fall in love with any properly working and tuned Steinway, whether it be form NY or Germany.

China is still a developing country, with a VAST population. There are probably 100's of millions of people who will want to learn how to play a piano ten years from now, who today have no idea what a Steinway is.

FWIW. I predict that 20 years from now, the piano industry will be booming like nothing seen before in history. Most likely, it will all be happening in China and the East.

The Great Carnac has spoken.

#1987817 - 11/17/12 02:23 PM Re: Steinway Hall in NY - Sold? [Re: Plowboy]  
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China is # 38 in our list of visitors right now, but they have been gaining.
This is a list of visitors to Piano World over the past year...

1 United States 4,430,626
2 United Kingdom 816,816
3 Canada 621,953
4 Australia 351,508
5 Germany 169,590
6 Netherlands 119,156
7 France 116,205
8 Italy 106,015
9 Philippines 103,269
10 India 97,397
11 Singapore 93,829
12 Malaysia 84,791
13 Spain 77,871
14 Sweden 73,523
15 (not set) 66,469
16 Ireland 64,250
17 Brazil 58,467
18 New Zealand 55,162
19 Belgium 53,134
20 Poland 52,750
21 Indonesia 50,391
22 Finland 47,624
23 Mexico 47,388
24 Greece 42,662
25 South Africa 42,649
26 Denmark 41,668
27 Norway 41,098
28 Switzerland 40,191
29 Hong Kong 39,916
30 Portugal 39,095
31 Japan 34,666
32 Turkey 33,767
33 Russia 32,630
34 Romania 31,259
35 Thailand 29,592
36 Argentina 29,268
37 Israel 26,322
38 China 25,496
39 Vietnam 25,049
40 Czech Republic 24,159
41 Austria 23,539
42 Hungary 20,056
43 Croatia 16,139
44 Serbia 16,089
45 Slovenia 14,109
46 South Korea 14,089
47 Slovakia 13,657
48 United Arab Emirates 13,454
49 Taiwan 13,260
50 Ukraine 12,956


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#1987819 - 11/17/12 02:27 PM Re: Steinway Hall in NY - Sold? [Re: Plowboy]  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,255
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Norbert  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,255
Surrey, B.C.
Quote
NY Steinway is a great instrument, not any less than a Hamburg. We can argue over the differences, but I doubt there is a pianist from anywhere in the world, including China, who wouldn't fall in love with any properly working and tuned Steinway, whether it be form NY or Germany.


Not so sure of this.

I know of several local pianists who went to great length obtaining Hamburgs from Germany.

Some German symphony orchestras I know replace their Hamburgs every 2 years and there seem always keen eyes out for some of those, also very much from this continent.

This is not to say that there aren't great New Yorks out there - of course there are, but 100% "made in Germany" still carries its weight around the world.

Especially in China..

Norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
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604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908
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