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Store family buys Chelsea retail condo

By Konrad Putzier

After selling off the bulk of a $200 million apartment portfolio, the family behind the Century 21 department store has snapped up a Chelsea retail condo.

The Gindi family, owner of the Century 21 Department Store chain, just closed on a retail condominium located at the corner of 7th Avenue and 28th Street in an off market transaction for $9.3 million, according to sources.

Located directly across the street from Fashion Institute of Technology, the space is occupied by a Starbucks coffee shop and a T-Mobile store.

Earlier this year, the Gindis put a 28-building residential portfolio with an estimated value of $200 million on the market.

That sale was handled by Bob Knakal, president at Massey Knakal Real Estate, who said that all but two of the properties have now been sold. While he declined to comment on the retail condo deal, Knakal did note that buying retail space is part of the family’s investment strategy.

The newly purchased space has approximately 3500 s/f. The Starbucks is frequented by many FIT students and has done well in the past. Retail rents in the area vary from $150-$250 a square foot on the ground, according to CoStar.


Ivan Hakimian of HPNY, a retail specialist who has dealt in numerous quiet transactions in Manhattan, was involved in the deal with the family.

While he too declined comment, it is understood Hakimian has been scouting other retail opportunities for the family, particularly Manhattan corner locations.

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