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Deals & Dealmakers

Lee Estate sale a ‘game changer’

The Lee Estate Portfolio, a diverse package of properties spanning Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Ulster County, has been sold for $107 million.

Adelaide Polsinelli and Ben Tapper, the newest principals at Eastern Consolidated, arranged the sale, exclusively representing the estate and procuring the buyers.

BEN TAPPER
BEN TAPPER
Adelaide Polsinelli
Adelaide Polsinelli

The majority of the portfolio was concentrated in 17 properties in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which were acquired by a joint venture between L3 Capital LLC and ASB Real Estate Investments. The portfolio — which at the time of the sale was controlled by the Lee Estate — was previously owned by the late Myron Liebowitz, locally known as Mike Lee, and his late wife.

Comprised predominantly of retail and residential properties, this collection of buildings and vacant lots was one of the largest number of lots ever offered and sold simultaneously in the neighborhood’s history. The assets aresituated within a two-block radius between North 6th Street and North 7th Street, and spanning from Berry Street to Kent Avenue.

Highlights of the Williamsburg collection include three prime, corner retail buildings, 300 linear feet of retail frontage along North 6th Street, and a total of nine retail units with tremendous upside in the rents. There is significant and highly under-valued retail in this portfolio including 10,000 square feet of vacant, contiguous ground floor retail space on North 6th Street in addition to lower level space, which can easily be subdivided or leased to a single tenant.

Lee Estate Portfolio: Looking Southwest at the Corner of N 6th St & Wythe Ave
Lee Estate Portfolio: Looking Southwest at the Corner of N 6th St & Wythe Ave

The residential portion of the Williamsburg portfolio consists of 22 apartments, which are primarily on short-term, free-market leases, significantly below market value. The units are well-maintained and many include private outdoor spaces. The portfolio also includes three professional spaces.

In total, this Williamsburg portfolio contains approximately 64,000 square feet of existing development and is zoned for 35,000 square feet of additional air rights without inclusionary housing, or 62,000 square feet with inclusionary housing.

“The joint venture between the Chicago and Washington, D.C.-based investors to acquire this component of the estate is a game changer for the area and highlights the unprecedented demand of investors locally and nationally for Williamsburg,” Polsinelli said. “The value of the real estate here has reached extraordinary levels, further validating Williamsburg’s popularity.  This market will continue to benefit from the portfolio as it matures and develops into a vibrant and exciting retail showcase.

Added Tapper: “This sale of one of the largest single-owned collections of properties in Williamsburg was an intricate, landmark transaction, which involved a cornucopia of real estate. The deal structuring, involving a plethora of variables, required an intense and targeted approach to identify the ideal buyers on a mandated time frame. We are thrilled to have orchestrated this historic deal and the value it represents for the Brooklyn market.”

Lee Estate Portfolio: Looking Northwest at the Corner of N 6th St & Berry St.
Lee Estate Portfolio: Looking Northwest at the Corner of N 6th St & Berry St.

Other properties in The Lee Estate portfolio included: a grocery store on Linden Boulevard in East New York, a three-story residential building in East Williamsburg, a co-op apartment on the Upper East Side, and a 108-acre site in Ulster County.

Chris Matousek, Director of Financial Services at Eastern Consolidated, served as the analyst on the transaction.

Roy I. Martin, Partner at Hodgson Russ Attorneys, was the attorney for The Lee Estate.

 

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