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Deals & Dealmakers

SELLING POINTS: Canadians partner on Chelsea condo site purchase; Ultimate Realty off-loading Bowery buildings

● Leslie J Garfield Real Estate
Canadians partner on Chelsea condo site purchase

Luxury New York home builder Holliswood Development is set to build a luxury condo boutique at 214-216 West 15th Street in Chelsea.

The company just closed on the $12.65 million purchase of the two abutting 25 ft. wide townhouses in a joint venture with Canadian investors, Firm Capital Corporation.

Nazareth Nursery was the seller, according to city records. The nursery opened back in 1901 and served hundreds of students until 2015 when it announced its closing because it couldn’t afford to maintain the property.

Leslie J. Garfield Real Estate’s Rick Pretsfelder brokered the sale. Craig L. Price and Stephen Tretola of Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman, represented the buyer on all legal aspects of the acquisition.

“The site is perfectly situated to capitalize on the burgeoning Silicon Alley market as well as the growing presence of families in the area,” said Pretsfelder.

“With the Google building one block away on 8th Avenue, Chelsea Market nearby, the ever expanding technology office development occurring near the High-Line, and the Avenues School in the neighborhood, the site will provide accessible luxury homes to both affluent families and the high tech work force.”

Forrest Todd, senior vice president at Firm Capital, said, “Firm Capital is pleased to be a 50 percent common equity partner and preferred equity contributor to this fantastic Chelsea location project and to have teamed up with a strong local builder who is experienced and understands how to build a high quality product.”

Holliswood Development will oversee the redevelopment of the project into six single floor condominium units.

● Avison Young
Ultimate Realty off-loading Bowery buildings

The New York Capital Markets Group for Avison Young has been named the exclusive agent for the sale of 356 Bowery a mixed-use building located in the sought-after NoHo neighborhood in Manhattan.

The currently vacant 7,600 gross-square-foot residential and retail property consists of five stories as well as a sellable lower level, in addition to an additional 2,500 s/f of air rights.

The Avison Young team marketing the sale of the building on behalf of owner Ultimate Realty, LLC is led by Principal and Head of Tri-State Investment Sales, James Nelson, along with Director, Brandon Polakoff.

“As a well-situated building with both commercial and residential use in one of New York City’s hottest areas, the 356 Bowery property is an exceptional investment opportunity,” noted Nelson.

“This building will be delivered vacant and presents the unique chance for a mixed-use or boutique office investor, or even an end user, to secure an asset with unlimited possibilities and immediate upside.

“We are excited to market 356 Bowery to a wide variety of buyers and similarly excited to represent Ultimate Realty, LLC, a leading Manhattan developer with a strong and diversified portfolio.”

356 Bowery is near multiple bus stops and subway stations, within walking distance of parks and amenities,and close to Whole Foods, the International Center of Photography, and the New Museum.

● Holliday Fenoglio Fowler
Student housing portfolio fetches $30M

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler announced the more than $30 million sale of a 71-building, 383-bed, scattered-site student housing portfolio at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The HFF team marketed the property exclusively on behalf of Campus Apartments. A private investment vehicle managed by Hong Kong-based Beacon Assets purchased the property free and clear of existing debt.

The 71 properties within the portfolio have prime ‘walk to campus’ locations and incredible access to nightlife and retail. The portfolio achieved close to 99 percent occupancy during the last two academic years amidst strong year-over-year rent growth.

Lehigh University has an enrollment of more than 7,000 with growth of 25 percent expected during the next seven years.
The HFF investment advisory team representing the seller included senior managing director Jose Cruz, senior directors Michael Oliver and Carl Fiebig, managing director Kevin O’Hearn and senior director Steve Simonelli with support from senior managing director Doug Opalka and director Ryan McBride.

“The portfolio garnered attention from local, regional and international investors,” Oliver said. “The portfolio has shown strong historical performance and will continue to be a fantastic investment going forward.”

● Cushman & Wakefield
Ramaa makes second New Jersey office purchase

Garrison Investment Group and Onyx Equities have sold 395 West Passaic Street, a four-story boutique office building totalling 107,969 s/f in Rochelle Park, N.J.

Ramaa Management purchased the asset in a deal brokered by Cushman & Wakefield.

Andrew Schwartz from Cushman’s investment sales team in East Rutherford, led the assignment, with David Bernhaut, Andrew Merin, Gary Gabriel, Brian Whitmer, and Andrew MacDonald.

They were assisted by David DeMatteis and Mark Zaziski from the leasing team. The Cushman & Wakefield team marketed the property in conjunction with Ten-X.

395 West Passaic Street was 80 percent leased to eight tenants at the time of sale. Situated on 3.1 acres at the crossroads of Routes 17, 4 and the Garden State Parkway, the property has a white metal façade and covered parking, and is visible from the Garden State Parkway.

The purchase was Ramaa Management’s second office acquisition in about a year in this market, having also acquired Park 80 East in Saddle Brook in May 2017, according to Danny Barot, principal and managing member.

“This property stood out with exceptional curb appeal and features like covered executive parking, flexible floor plates, and the option to add a Class A amenity package in order to drive lease-up and rent growth,” said Schwartz.

“The attractive characteristics of this property and the surrounding area helped drive leasing interest in this location,” added Bernhaut. “Activity in the Route 17 South submarket has been decidedly bullish, with decreasing vacancy rates and increasing average asking rents.”

● Gebroe-Hammer Associates
Great state of Union County multifamily market

Gebroe-Hammer Associates has arranged $22.7 million in the sale of four apartment communities in Union County, NJ.
The brokerage team of senior vice president Stephen Tragash, who exclusively represented each of the sellers, and vice president Gehane Triarsi arranged the trades.

“Like its surrounding neighbors, Union County multi-family continues to perform solidly with stabilized occupancy rates, favorable absorption of new product and asking and effective rents that are on the upswing,” explained Tragash.
“All are projected to remain favorable, which in turn feeds the appetite of multi-family investors.”

The largest of Gebroe-Hammer’s transactions involved the $15.45 million trade of Cornell Arms and Pingry Arms, at 735 Park Ave. and 606 Crescent Ave., respectively, in Plainfield.

The six-story mid-rise properties have 114 total units, laundry facilities and paved parking. Each also offers proximity to transit, local and private schools and an array of shopping choices.

Executive Arms, a 27-unit three-story property at 315 West 8th Street, Plainfield, and 1055 S. Elmora Ave., a 48-unit courtyard-style apartment community in Elizabeth called David Gardens Apartments also traded in the latest sell-off.

● Akelius Real Estate
Swedes bag Belmar building for $30M

Abe Greenspan’s Belmar Realty Corp sold its 336 West 95th Street apartment building for $30 million, according to city records.

The seven-story apartment building in the Upper West Side has 24 units and was built in 1940.

The buyer was Akelius Real Estate Management, the largest listed real estate company in Sweden. Since launching its US acquisitions strategy in 2015, it has built a nearly 3,000-unit apartment portfolio across the Northeast.

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