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Deals & Dealmakers

Selling points: New Rochelle tower fetches $148M, Spencer Equity buys Bronx housing complex

HFF

New Rochelle tower fetches $148M

Boston-based DSF Group has paid $148.5 million for a 412-unit luxury apartment tower in New Rochelle.

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler brokered the sale of La Rochelle, a 25-story property built by Avalon Bay Communities in the late 1990s and later bought by Hartz Mountain Industries.

HFF marketed the property at 255 Hugenot Street exclusively on behalf of the seller, a Hartz Mountain entity listed as 255 Huguenot Street, Corp. The DSF Group purchased the asset free and clear of existing debt.

The HFF investment sales team was led by senior managing director Jose Cruz, managing director Kevin O’Hearn, directors Michael Oliver and Stephen Simonelli and supported by senior managing director Andrew Scandalios.

La Rochelle has 43 studio, 142 one-bedroom, 185 two-bedroom and 42 three-bedroom units, 6,000 s/f of ground-floor retail, a 422-space parking garage and rights for the development of an additional 40-story residential tower

DSF already owns Halstead New Rochelle, around the corner at 40 Memorial Highway. According to the Westchester County Business Journal,  DSF paid $210.4 million for that 588-unit tower, in 2013.

DSF plans to renovate apartments as they become available and make upgrades throughout the building.

“We are thrilled to expand our presence in the New Rochelle submarket after having already enjoyed tremendous success in the market with the purchase of the adjacent 588-unit, 40-story Halstead New Rochelle property,” said DSF Group president Josh Solomon.

Broker Jose Cruz added, “The DSF Group saw significant upside in the tower and the local market. Multifamily assets continue to attract core and core plus capital to urban markets within the New York area.”

Since 2000, The DSF Group has invested more than $2.5 billion in five million square feet of multifamily real estate and has quietly become one of the most successful private real estate investment firms in the country.

Rosewood Realty

Spencer Equity closes on latest affordable housing purchase

Joel Gluck’s Spencer Equity has closed on the purchase of the Noonan Plaza affordable housing complex in the Bronx for $42 million.

The seven-story, 335,000 s/f property at 105 West 168th Street in the South Bronx’s Highbridge neighborhood includes 283 residential and eight retail units.

Rosewood Realty Group’s Aaron Jungreis represented both Gluck and the seller, Joel Leder (Noonan Plaza LLC) in the deal.

Spencer plans to sell majority ownership rights to a third party at a future date, while remaining as managing partner, entitled to development fees and income from the property.

Gluck is in talks to secure a $26 million loan to extend the building’s Section 8 contract, which expires in April 2017. Currently, nearly all units are occupied by Section 8 tenants and rents range from $1,125 to $1,760 for a three-bedroom.

That setup is similar to another Section 8 deal Spencer Equity completed recently. The company acquired the development rights for a three-building, 326,646 s/f Section 8 complex in Staten Island in July after negotiating with the federal housing department to increase rents.

They plan to invest $20 million in renovations for the 362-unit complex at 141 Park Avenue.

The sale of 105 West 168th Street marks the 60th building sale for Rosewood this year in the Bronx. Jungreis’ firm has closed over $461 million in Bronx sales in 2016, with 15 more in contract to close.

Cushman & Wakefield

Investors see value in rent regulated apartments

Cushman & Wakefield’s Guthrie Garvin, Thomas Gammino and Michael Gembecki have closed on two multifamily buildings located at 234 East 95th Street and 446 East 88th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

“These entirely rent-regulated buildings with 40 total units were sold to a local investor who saw the value of their location and the slated Second Avenue subway,” said Garvin.

234 East 95th Street is a five-story, walk-up with 20 one-bedrooms, of which 19 are rent-stabilized and one is rent-controlled. The building contains nearly 8,200 s/f with an additional 7,508 s/f of air rights.

The final sale price equated to nearly $670 psf.

446 East 88th Street is also a five-story, walk-up with 20 one-bedroom, rent-stabilized units and nearly 9,000 s/f as well as 1,988 s/f of air rights.

The final sale price equated to nearly $760 psf.

Gebroe-Hammer Associates

Investment trade in tomorrow’s tough-to-enter market

Gebroe-Hammer Associates has arranged the $27.15 million sale of three high-rise multi-family towers in East Orange, NJ.

The 249-unit East Orange Towers portfolio includes 106, 111 and 120 South Harrison Street in the historic South Harrison neighborhood.

The brokerage team of managing directors David Oropeza and Joseph Brecher exclusively represented the seller and identified the buyer, respectively. Both were unnamed private investment groups.

Primarily comprised of small-to-high-rise apartment-rental properties, 99 percent of the area’s real estate is occupied by renters – the highest rate of renter occupancy of any neighborhood nationally, according to NeighborhoodScout.com.

“These buildings, all of which are classic, early 20th-Century buildings, are well-known fixtures along the city’s architectural landscape,” said Oropeza.

“Collectively, they are often linked together due to their convenient location near shopping, dining, parks and mass transit and certain aesthetic similarities, yet they retain their individual unique-in-character identities.”

Each of the properties features newly renovated units and amenities range from on-premises laundry and parking facilities to manicured grounds and fitness rooms.

According to Brecher, “Private investment initiatives and gentrification of the tenant base are spurring further revitalization in what is expected to become another of North Jersey’s high-barrier-to-entry multi-family investment markets.”

Located at the intersection of the Garden State Parkway and Interstate 280, East Orange is bordered by South Orange to the southwest, Orange to the west, Newark to the east and Glen Ridge and Bloomfield to the north.

Ten-X

Tech City goes to open market

The 156-acre Enterprise Corporate Park in Kingston, NY, a property that once housed IBM and is also known as TechCity, is being put up for sale via Ten-X as a development site that is zoned as-of-right for virtually any use.

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo named a 70-acre site along the Kingston waterfront as a Brownfield Opportunity Area, setting forth the first steps of revitalizing blighted commercial and retail buildings along the river.

The initiative is the latest from the public sector to spur private growth in New York state; other tax incentives like Startup NY have been created to bring nascent tech-driven companies to the Hudson Valley.

Enterprise Corporate Park is SEQRA and town approved for mixed-use and includes a rail connection, 15 buildings with roughly 1.3 million square feet of industrial, office and flex space.

Ten-X has essentially created an open market for the property for investors from all over the world to bid, each likely with different visions for its future.

Cushman & Wakefield

Soho diamond sold

Cushman & Wakefield’s Robert Burton and Keegan Mehlhorn have sold Whistlepig Associates’ mixed-use multifamily asset at 59 Thompson Street in SoHo for just over $21 million, or $1,315 /sf.

Veracity Equities purchased the six-story, 15,918 s/f walk-up, which has two ground-floor commercial units and 34 apartments, seven of which are subject to rent stabilization.

The building is currently under renovation due to a fire incident earlier this year. The opportunity to reposition both the retail and residential components resulted in tremendous upside for the investor. “We received a great deal of interest in the property as investors rightfully saw the diamond in the making. We’re happy to have provided ownership with the best-fitting buyer who will take 59 Thompson to its full

potential and capitalize on SoHo’s growth,” said Burton.

Meridian / CBRE

Moxy retail hits the market

Marriott and Lightstone have tapped Meridian Investment Sales and CBRE to sell two Seventh Avenue retail condominiums and a parking garage in their soon to be completed Moxy NYC hotel.

David Schechtman, Lipa Lieberman and Abie Kassin, along with CBREʼs Gary Trock, are marketing the assets on behalf of Lightstone.

485 Seventh Avenue is composed of two retail condos and a contiguous parking garage at the base of the 618-room hotel on the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and West 36th Street.

The property is situated at the convergence of Times Square and Pennsylvania Plaza, two of the most heavily trafficked neighborhoods in New York City, and benefits from 60 feet of frontage along Seventh Avenue and 125 feet of frontage on West 36th Street.

One retail condominium is occupied by Pret a Manger and totals 1,408 s/f and the vacant corner retail unit totals 2,596 s/f.

The 27,001 s/f parking garage is under a long-term lease with Icon Parking Systems and features a certificate of occupancy for 138 parking spaces.

“Located in the heart of Manhattan and surrounded by shops, restaurants and world-renowned tourist attractions, 485 Seventh Avenue is a popular retail destination in a highly trafficked neighborhood of New York City,” Trock explained.

GFI Realty

GFI taking bets on Saratoga winner

GFI Realty Services has been named the exclusive sales agent for 509 Saratoga Avenue and 17 Van Siclen Avenue, two four-story walk-ups in Brownsville and East New York.

Shlomo Antebi and Daniel Shragaei will oversee the marketing of these properties, and will seek either a single investor or two buyers for the pair of assets. The buildings are expected to fetch a combined $11.4 million.

509 Saratoga Avenue totals 21,292 s/f and is comprised of 32 apartments. 17 Van Siclen is comprised of a total of 27 units, totaling approximately 20,596 s/f.

The assets are located on quiet blocks, and are surrounded by similar low-rise walk up apartment buildings.

“Both Brownville and East New York benefit from residents looking for affordable housing with relatively easy transportation to Manhattan,” Antebi said.

“These submarkets are the last of the Brooklyn areas to have a resurgence, however plans are already underway to increase development in East New York.”

KDA

Restaurant biz puts expansion on table

Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates (KDA) has arranged new warehouse space for Manhattan-based L&J Restaurant Equipment in Brooklyn and on Long Island.

The restaurant equipment supplier purchased a 140,000 s/f a warehouse at 350 Eastview Drive in Central Islip, for $9.5 million.

They also signed a new, long-term, 30,000 s/f lease at 380 Morgan Avenue in East Williamsburg.

“L&J Restaurant Equipment recently moved out of its 80,000 s/f space at 80 Evergreen Avenue in Brooklyn to allow for the landlord’s planned conversion to office space,” said Neil Dolgin co-president at KDA.

“In two opportune deals, the restaurant supply company was able to more than double its previous square-footage. L&J has leased the majority of a brand new building at 380 Morgan Avenue and acquired a 140,000 s/f warehouse on Long Island to support its operations.”

At 350 Eastview Drive, the buyer, John Lam, was represented by Linda Wong of KDA, while David Rotter of Metro Realty Services negotiated on behalf of the seller, April Holding LLC.

The building, set on 12.7 acres, was formerly used by Nassau County for the storage and distribution of lunches for it school districts. John Lam will use the property for warehousing for L&J’s restaurant equipment.

At 380 Morgan Avenue, Linda Wong represented L&J in the lease, while Paul Yuras of DY Realty represented the landlord, 380 Morgan Avenue Associates.

Feldman Equities / Tower Realty

$80M Tampa venture closes

A joint venture consisting of affiliates of Feldman Equities and Tower Realty Partners has acquired Park Tower, a 36-story, 475,000 s/f  office building located in downtown Tampa for $79.75 million.

The joint venture intends to make a substantial investment in the property to modernize the building which is 86 percent leased to tenants that include BB&T, United States Department of Justice – US Attorney’s Office, Level 3 Communications, and Lykes Insurance.

“As with our other downtown acquisitions, this is yet another opportunity for us to do what we do best – renovating and upgrading office buildings in order to maximize their value,” commented co-owner Larry Feldman, CEO of Feldman Equities.

Mike DiBlasi, Feldman Equities Executive Vice President for Leasing and Marketing, will lead leasing efforts.

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