By Roland Li
Eli Braha’s Berkley Acquisitions, a New York-based developer, has purchased 53 Greene Street for $10.8 million, according to sources. Braha declined to comment.
The all-cash transaction was financed by the Praedium Group, a New York-based real estate investor and fund manager.
The seller was 8008 Realty Corporation, according to city records, a local landlord who had owned the property since the 1940s. The deal was off market, and no brokers were involved.
Near Broome Street, the six-story loft property has 34 feet of frontage and is 100 feet deep. It is 17,977 s/f, according to PropertyShark.
The building is currently vacant, and Berkley Acquisitions plans to gut-renovate the property, creating five residential loft units, along with ground floor retail. Sources said a restaurant or art gallery could potentially take the space, but no tenant has been decided.
Construction will likely take months, if not years. Because the property is in a historic district, modifications to the façade must by approved by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, although sources said the only work on the façade would be steam-cleaning and repainting of signs. Interior work must be done to building codes.
However, recent efforts to abolish the artist-in-residence zoning law in Soho could make residential occupancy easier, and the property’s location makes it a potentially lucrative development. Sales at the nearby 34 Greene Street, for example, have been closing at around $2,000 per s/f, according to StreetEasy.
Berkley Acquisitions is also in discussions to acquire the Hotel Syracuse, a historic building in Syracuse, N.Y. that had plans for a partial residential conversion. The 790-unit hotel closed in 2004, following bankruptcy, and Berkley is now talking with various shareholders from Israel regarding the building’s future. Berkeley also purchased the note on 245 West 14th Street, and, following a foreclosure process, it plans to build a condo building with ground-floor retail.