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Broker beats COVID, sells $16M building

Broker Shay Zach has closed on a $16 million building sale he worked on while recovering from the corona virus.

The 41-year-old co-founder of Gaia Property Group was stricken with the virus shortly after attending an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington DC in early March. He’d also recently returned from Israel, an early COVID-19 hotspot.

After taking ill, Shay was tested for the virus at Mount Sinai Hospital and ordered into quarantine for 21 days.

Now back to full health, the broker is taking part in the national effort to donate plasma that might help patients with life-threatening COVID-19 infections.

And he is spearheading an effort to raise funds that will help hospitals and his local community with food and supplies.

“I think the hardest part of the whole experience was not being able to see my daughter for three weeks,” said Shay, who is now working from his Williamsburg home where he can be close to daughter Almah, seven.

“Two other agents in the office contracted the virus and have also now recovered. We have all been deeply affected by the crisis and that’s why we’ve set up this relief fund to try to help those on the front lines and in our communities.”

171 North 10th Street

Shay and his team have also been working to keep Gaia Property Group operational and just closed on the sale of a rent stabilized apartment building at 171 North 10th Street in Brooklyn

Shay and co-founder, Hen Vakin, represented both the seller, Darren Anikstein’s Great Point Properties, and the buyer, an unnamed Argentinian developer.

Built in 2015, the seven-story apartment building features 20 rent stabilized studio, one- two- and three-bedroom apartments with a video intercom entry system, package room, bike storage and a parking garage. The property sold for $15.75 million at a cap rate of 5.2 percent.

“We had several hurdles to overcome during the sales process, not least the fact that three of our team members had the corona virus,” said Shay.

“On top of that, the 421a tax exemption was set to expire on the building and the HSTPA rent regulations that were enacted last summer scared away a lot of potential investors.”

According to Shay, the Argentinian buyer is content to invest in a long-term hold. “He was looking for stable income from a solid building and 171 North 10th ticks those boxes with 100 percent on rent and no delinquencies,” he said. “This was a good price and excellent cap given today’s investment sales environment.

“We are happy to have been able to close the deal amid such unprecedented disruption and feel lucky to still be working to help our clients and our neighbors.”

Anyone who would like to find out more about GAIA Property Group’s relief effort should contact Shay at Shay@gpgnyc.com646-210-1201

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