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Deals & Dealmakers

SELLING POINTS: Berley leads another buyers group; Back to the drawing board at Palm restaurant building

Investor group buys Midtown East building

An investment group headed by Walter & Samuels chairman David I. Berley has acquired 5 East 47th Street, a seven-story office building in Midtown East.
The building features six floors of office space, a ground-floor retail unit with 25 feet of frontage, and 16,000 s/f of air rights.
Berley represented the investment group in the $18.3 million acquisition. Yosef Mahgerefteh of Astor Brokerage represented seller.
“This is a solid building in the midst of Midtown East, which is experiencing one of the lowest availability rates in Midtown,” said Berley.

David Berley
David Berley

“With expectations for increasing demand as major rezoning gets underway in the neighborhood, it was the perfect time to acquire the building and its associated air rights.”
The 1920 mid-rise building features a limestone façade with ornamented spandrels that divide grand and expansive windows. The building is currently occupied by creative digital agencies Carl Byrd & Company, Just Add Water and Mixopolis. The retail tenant is Café Alice.
“We expect this building to continue to attract creative firms that want to be located near their clients in Midtown, but within an energetic loft-like building where there are like-minded businesses,” added Berley.
In the past several month, veteran investor Berely has invested in a plethora of properties to add to his portfolio, including 30 East 20th Street, 160-162 Lexington, 316 Bowery and 4-6 Bleecker Street.

Palm restaurant building to get new lease on life

Klosed Properties has bought the building that once house the Palm Restaurant on Second Avenue.
The 7,680 s/f mixed-use building is located at 837 Second Avenue, between 44th and 45th Streets, amidst some of Manhattan’s most notable office and residential neighborhoods.

The restaurant is famous for its wall of caricatures
The restaurant is famous for its wall of caricatures

The building features 10,570 s/f of available air rights.
Steven Kachanian, principal of Klosed Properties said, “We are thrilled about the long term potential of this asset. The 3,600 s/f built-out restaurant is extremely valuable to prospective tenants because it will save them a great deal of time and money.
“The location, visibility, and history of the building make this a dream spot for high end operators catering to the United Nations and diplomats”.
Kachanian said that in addition to overhauling the restaurant space, Klosed will convert the upper floors that have sat vacant as storage for decades into high-end apartments.
CBRE’s Daniel Kaplan broked the $5.9 million sale of the property.
The Palm opened in the 1920s and became known as a hand-out for the newspaper crowd.
Over the years, its walls became covered in caricatures of celebrities, politicians, sports and media figures, a tradition that reportedly began as a twist on the phrase “sing for your meal” where an artist who enjoyed the fare would pay for his meal by drawing a portrait on the wall.

Cigar Factory fetches $31M

Modern Spaces’ Commercial and Investment Property Group announced the sale of The Cigar Factory for $31 million.
Manhattan based Brickman, a real estate private equity firm, acquired the historic building located at 35-11 Ninth Street. The sale also included a parking lot at 35-31 Ninth Street. At the time of closing the building was approximately 91 percent occupied.
The Modern Spaces team of Evan Daniel and Edward DiTomasso spearheaded the marketing of the property exclusively representing the seller, Hudson Realty Capital.


According to Daniel, “Tremendous demand from local, national and international investors led to a price point of approximately $302.91 per square foot in just eight weeks of marketing.”
“The sale to Brickman speaks to the strength of the office and investment market, a trend that continues to prove that Long Island City is quickly becoming a destination for institutional capital and truly a mixed-use, live/work neighborhood.”
Built in 1896 and once home to the DeNobili Cigar company, the four-story 102,670 s/f office/loft building currently houses 57 commercial units and two cell towers.
Like several other recently converted industrial to office buildings in Long Island City, The Cigar Factory will provide alternative options intended for creative/flex use for small businesses in the area as well as more affordable options for businesses moving from across the river.
“Demand for such space has exploded this year leading to dramatic rent increases throughout Western Queens” said Daniel.
“The development of the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island will create more jobs and further put significant upward pressure on office demand and rent growth.”

Au revoir to Broadway buildings
After 35 years of ownership, Christen Portelli and Joshua Goldflam, both managing principals of Highcap Group, have sold two buildings near Union Square, 827-829 Broadway (aka 47 East 12th Street) and 831 Broadway.
The two contiguous four-story, mixed-use elevator buildings form an L shape from Broadway to East 12th Street with over 35,000 s/f plus air rights. They sold for over $60 million.
The loft-style properties with floor-to-ceiling windows, known as La Belle Epoque, were owned and operated by antique dealer Howard Kaplan. The historic name came from the ballroom soirees that were held in the Parisian decorated second floor.
Presently, there are two levels of retail with 75 ft. of frontage on Broadway and residential units on the upper floors.
Portelli and Goldflam represented both the seller and purchaser in the off market transaction.
In a statement the brokers commented, “The purchaser has an incredible opportunity to reposition the assets and utilize the air rights while maintaining the incredible architectural features of the iconic properties.”
Plymouth House sold to Novel Ventures for $25M

Friedman Roth Realty Services LLC announced the sale of 115 Henry Street, Brooklyn.
Located at the corner of Henry and Clark Street in Brooklyn Heights, the six-story elevator apartment building contains 38 apartments (29,200 s/f) and four commercial tenants (2,500 s/f).
The property was held by the same family ownership for more than 50 years.

115 Henry Street
115 Henry Street

The off-market transaction was negotiated by Friedman-Roth’s Joseph A.Smith and Managing Partner Eric C. Roth.
According to Roth, “This deal arose from the classic recipe of one broker’s persistence and hard work. Joseph had been in touch with the seller for many years and his diligence finally paid off.ˮ
Roth introduced Bennat Berger and Novel Property Ventures to the offering and cemented the deal within minutes of completing a property tour with an all-cash offer that included all of the seller’s conditions for a sale.
The property was sold for $25 million dollars, or $781 per square foot.
Said Bennat, “We jumped at the opportunity to purchase such a high quality asset in the heart of Brooklyn Heights.
“The Plymouth House is directly across the street from the subway and has excellent corner retail. We see these ingredients as a recipe for unique long-term potential. We intend to keep the building as a rental and to make it a cornerstone of our Brooklyn portfolio.”

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