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Deals & Dealmakers

Brits bulk buying New York’s unsold sponsor units

Tremada Properties, an affiliate of London-based William Pears Group Ltd., has acquired a block of 36 unsold sponsor units in 321 East 48th Street Condominium (pictured top) for $11.5 million.  

Mark Zborovsky brokered the sale on behalf of Friedman Management and represented the buyer in the all-cash deal.

According to the broker, 31 of the 36 units are free market, providing the buyer with immediate upside in a troubled market. Tremada has been among the most active investors in the sector this year, acquiring over 200 units for an aggregate price of $45.85 million across the city.

Unsold sponsor units are co-op or condo apartments that, years after the conversion, are still occupied by rent stabilized and rent controlled tenants. The cash flow from these apartments is usually either negative, or minimally positive.  The profit from investing in unsold sponsor units blocks comes from sales of the apartments that have become deregulated upon their vacancies, and not from their rental cash flow.


According to Zborovsky, the market for sales of unsold rent regulated sponsor units blocks in New York remains highly active, even during the current coronavirus pandemic, primarily because vacancies occur regularly and irrespective of the market conditions.

“These blocks not only retained their appeal to investors, but have become even more attractive to investors in comparison with regular rental multi-family properties, which have been horribly affected by current insufficient rent collections as well as terrible rent reform last year,” said Zborovsky.

“Also, because of the lack of any meaningful cash flow, investors have traditionally paid all cash for their purchases.  And that’s why even the banks’ current hesitation to provide financing for any type of real estate has not affected the value of these blocks.”

According to the veteran broker, the market is being driven by local owners and buyers as well as foreign investors.

Earlier this month, Zborovsky brokered the bulk sale of 255 unsold sponsor units in nine co-op corporations of the Bronx and Manhattan. Skyline Management sold the package to Glacier Equities for  $11.5 million.

This year alone, Zborovsky has closed nine large blocks of Unsold Sponsor Units in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn with aggregate price of $112 million.

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