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Debt & Equity

‘Non-investors’ pooling their dollars for bet on Bushwick

Real estate crowdfunding platform CityFunders has just launched an investment listing for the first ever crowdfunded property in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood.

The service is seeking a $1 million contribution from investors for 99 Scott Avenue, a 22,000 s/f building that was previously used as a manufacturing warehouse.

The property, which comes with 30,000 s/f of parking space, was purchased by Bushwack Capital last December for $8.3 million.

Bushwack, the beneficiary of the fundraising effort, plans to convert the building into an event venue that contains a restaurant, a beer garden, a winery and some office space.

The company is also looking to lease part of the outdoor space to a parking lot operator.

“We feel most comfortable working with experienced real estate investment teams like CityFunders, who understand the nuances of New York real estate and can recognize the right opportunity when it becomes available,” said Dawson Stellberger, the managing partner of Bushwack Capital.

Since announcing the deal less than a week ago, CityFunders said that the listing has generated a lot of local interest.

“A lot of investors that I have for the Bushwick deal live in north Brooklyn,” said David Behin, the CEO and co-founder of CityFunders.

“Bushwick has actually been, out of our stable, one of our most popular investments. People certainly love Bushwick. They’re not real estate investors, but they live in the neighborhood and they see the growth in the neighborhood and they want to invest.”

CityFunders, which accepts investments as low as $5,000, has over 500 investors who have signed up for its service.

According to Behin, a large chunk of their customer base is those who fall on the “not real estate investors” classification, contributing anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.

The service was launched in June with two initial listings: a package of two mixed-use buildings in Chinatown in Manhattan and a 44-story development in Long Island City.

According to Behin, Bushwick is just its first target in Brooklyn.

“We’re looking at neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights; all of those are potential neighborhoods that we’re currently looking at deals in,” he said.

CityFunders is offering crowdfunding contributors a 10 percent annual return on their investment.

According to Behin, Bushwack will turn over the spaces to tenants on October 1. Bushwack has declined to disclose who will be leasing the event venue and the parking lot space.

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