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SELLING POINTS: Blesso makes Broadway purchase, Thor buys in Harlem

● Blesso properties
Blesso to transform former bank building

Blesso Properties, a West Village-based development firm, has purchased 525-545 Broadway, a development site in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for $33 million.
The transaction equates to nearly $170 per buildable square foot, in a market that is trading in the $250 to $300 square foot buildable range.

ATCO Properties & Management, a Manhattan-based owner/operator, has provided $12.7 million of preferred equity to fund the acquisition.
The propertyis comprised of a 60,000 s/f office building, formerly known as the Lincoln Savings Bank, as well as a 13,000 s/f parking lot. The property includes 190,000 s/f of buildable square feet.

According to David Kessler, President of Blesso Properties, the company plans to redevelop the existing office building and construct a mixed-use tower on the vacant parking lot.

“We plan to seamlessly integrate well-curated office, retail, community facility, and co-working spaces at the property,” Kessler said, noting that the residential portion will include roughly 100 rental units as well as roughly 22,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities including a shared roof deck

“The integration of progressive programing, state-of-the-art technology, and innovative shared amenities will help cultivate a culture and community at 545 Broadway.”

Kessler adds, “Creative and technology office tenants are getting priced out of areas like Midtown South and Dumbo, making areas like East Williamsburg a viable, convenient, and more affordable alternative. As millennials continue to move to Williamsburg and Bushwick, their employers will follow, desiring to move their operations closer to their employee base.”

The investment is the first transaction made by the ATCO City Center Real Estate Mezzanine Loan Program, an investment vehicle designed to provide financing to central business district (CBD) commercial properties in select markets across the country.

The preferred equity ATCO provided will serve as additional financing to a $21.5 million senior mortgage loan that the sponsor secured from Centennial Bank.
Michael Atkins arranged the preferred equity and Mark Niman, Senior Director – Capital Markets Group at Cooper-Horowitz, Inc. arranged the senior mortgage loan.

●Marcus & Millichap
$30M Village building has plenty of upside

Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a division of Marcus & Millichap Inc. specializing in serving institutional and major private real estate investors, announced the sale of a multifamily and retail property at 455 Hudson St. in the West Village.
The sales price is $30 million for the 40-unit property, which equates to $1,136 per unit.
The listing agents were Peter Von Der Ahe, Joe Koicim and Sean Lefkovits, all of the firm’s Manhattan office.
The selling agents were Scott Edelstein, Seth Glasser and Brett Garson, also of the Manhattan office, along with Von Der Ahe, Koicim and Lefkovits.
“455 Hudson St. presented investors with a rare opportunity to acquire a fully renovated trophy asset with condominium-level finishes in the West Village,” said Von Der Ahe.
This six-story, mixed-use building, built in 1920, contains two retail units, 33 one-bedroom apartments and five studios. All 20 of the free-market units have been recently fully renovated with $4 million total in building improvements.
“Of the total 38 rental units, there remains tremendous upside in the 45 percent of units that are rent-regulated,” said Koicim.
“There is also significant upside in the retail rents when they expire, currently paying $125 per square foot and $148 per square foot on bustling Hudson Street where retail rents are trending north of $200 per square foot,” says Lefkovits.
The Real Deal previously that the Cherney family acquired the property from Benchmark Real Estate Group, which acquired the building for $20 million in 2013.

●Thor Equities
Thor buys Harlem property

Thor Equities announced it has closed on the acquisition of 17 West 125th Street, a residential and retail building in Central Harlem, for $30 .6 million.
Located between Fifth and Lenox Avenues, 17 West 125th Street is a pre-war property constructed in 1900.
The five-story elevator building is comprised of 50 rental units including 32 one-bedroom apartments, 14 two-bedroom units, and 3 three-bedroom residences.
The property also features more than 9,000 s/f of retail space with 18-foot ceilings, and 115 feet of frontage along 125th Street.
“The 125th Street corridor is undergoing significant redevelopment and growth, fueled in part by the $7 billion, 17-acre expansion of Columbia University to the west,” said Joseph Sitt, CEO of Thor Equities.
A new Whole Foods Grocery is located one block away from 17 West 125th Street, with a new Bed, Bath & Beyond and WeWork space directly adjacent to the property.
Thor Equities owns a number of additional residential properties in the area including 98 Morningside Avenue, 838 West End Avenue, and 840 West End Avenue.
Treetop Development sold the property to Thor for $30.6 million ater buying it for $13.6 million in 2013, sold the 46,200 square-foot.
Steven Vegh and Phil Goldstein of Westwood Realty served as broker for the transaction.
The transaction is the fourth sale completed by Treetop Development in northern Manhattan’s actively-traded real estate markets in the last 15 months.
Ceruzzi sells Greenwich
office property

CBRE Group, Inc. announced that Jeffrey Dunne and Steven Bardsley of CBRE’s Institutional Properties team negotiated the $30.5 million ($806 psf) sale of Two Soundview Drive in Greenwich Connecticut on behalf of an entity controlled by Ceruzzi Properties.
Two Soundview is a 38,000 s/f Class A office building that is located directly at the train station in Greenwich Connecticut’s Central Business District.
Dunne commented: “Two Soundview’s ”train centric” location in the heart of Greenwich’s business district will provide superb access and visibility for new ownership. They’re getting an irreplaceable asset and location – one of the best in the region.”

●Bell Partners
Compelling returns from community trade

Bell Partners Inc.,  has sold its Bell Morrison community in Charlotte, North Carolina, for $49.5 million to The Connor Group.
The transaction was concluded on behalf of the Company’s investors in Bell Fund IV.  Bell Fund IV purchased Bell Morrison (previously known as Morrison at Southpark Apartments), in March 2012.
During Bell Partners ownership, a $1.6 million repositioning and renovation plan was orchestrated which resulted in rent increases of over 39 percent, enhancing the overall value of the property.
Joseph Cannon, SVP, Investments at Bell Partners, said: “ As a result of our teams’ exceptional, collaborative efforts, the property has generated compelling returns for our investors.“
Bell Partners is focused on acquiring and managing well-located, high-quality multifamily assets across the East Coast, Southwest, and Western United States to generate attractive current income and provide strong total returns to its investors.
Thus far in 2015, Bell has sold  13 apartment communities for $293 million and acquired three apartment communities for $356 million.

●Cushman & Wakefield
‘Elaineʼ building sold
Two contiguous mixed-use properties at 1703-1705 Second Avenue, located between East 88th and East 89th Streets on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, have been sold for $22,250,000.
Previously home to the famous Elaine’s restaurant, the two five-story buildings are approximately 15,350 s/f and contain one store and 16 residential units, of which 14 are free market and have been gut renovated.
The sale price equates to approximately $1,498 per square foot.
“This portion of the Upper East Side is poised for a major transformation as the first phase of the Second Avenue subway nears completion and new nearby developments on Second Avenue come on-line. This property will benefit from both, and also has the future potential to be redeveloped due to its 37,500 square feet of
development rights,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Thomas D. Gammino Jr., who exclusively handled this transaction.

●Cohen Real Estate
Value add in shopping
center trade

Cohen Real Estate (CRE), headquartered in New York, has announced the sale of Bayway Village Shopping Center, an open air shopping center located at the SE corner of Interstate 45 (The Gulf Freeway) and West NASA Parkway.
Vera Thomas, Senior Managing Director of Cohen Real Estate represented both the seller and the buyer.
Bayway Village Shopping Center contains 136,505 s/f of space which is 90 percent occupied with major upside in leasing the vacancies and re-leasing Premiere Cinemas, which is only paying $4.41 psf.
The property was delivered free and clear of debt and sold at a purchase price of approximately $11,400,000.
The seller, DZM, Inc., a privately held Texas company, owned the property for many years.
The buyer, a private owner of shopping centers in the Southwest, “Saw an excellent opportunity to create greater value,” Thomas said.

● Time Equities
Greenburger strengthens retail portfolio

New York-based Time Equities Inc. (TEI) announced the acquisition of a 277,000 s/f retail portfolio, comprised of three properties, in Columbus, Georgia for $30 million.

The properties, known as ‘The Landings,’ are located at 2450 Airport Thruway and 5300 Sidney Simons Blvd.
The transaction marks the firm’s sixth retail property in the state, further increasing its national retail footprint.

“Time Equities Inc. recognized this exceptional opportunity to acquire an off-market and highly productive lifestyle center between the affluent Columbus suburbs and its central business district,” said Ami Ziff, Director of National Retail with Time Equities Inc.

“The portfolio exhibits many characteristics we look for in an acquisition including healthy market fundamentals, growing retail sales, a balanced and diverse tenant mix, and long-term upside. In addition, after the Landings underwent extensive renovations, it has differentiated itself creating a reputation as a fun and walkable destination to dine and shop.”

Led by Founder and CEO, Francis Greenburger, TEI continues to strengthen its retail portfolio through the acquisition of well-positioned properties in areas that demonstrate stability and a strong customer base.
The seller was a subsidiary of The Woodruff Companies, a 99-year old Columbus-based real estate development and investment firm.

The transaction was arranged by Colliers International’s Atlanta-based Investment Sales team of Joe Montgomery and Tony D’Ambrosio represented the seller.
Columbus is Georgia’s second-largest city and fourth-largest metropolitan area.
The city has a population of more than 97,000 people.

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