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Deals & Dealmakers

SELLING POINTS: Midtown library building offered for sale; Investor makes long-term play in Bayside

Library building hits the market in Midtown

Cushman & Wakefield has been retained on an exclusive basis to market 17 East 47th Street, the former home of the New York Mercantile Library. The asking price is $23,850,000.
A team consisting of Executive Managing Director Clint Olsen and Senior Associate Will Conrad will be leading the marketing efforts on behalf of the property’s seller.
“The Mercantile Library dates back to 1820 and was a destination for entrepreneurial New Yorkers and immigrants who wanted to learn the merchant trade and develop ethical business practices,” said Conrad.
“Situated in one of New York City’s most prestigious locations and featuring an elegant facade, the building offers a wide range of opportunities, including as an ideal site for cultural institutions, hotel developers and value-add investors.”
17 East 47th Street has been home to the Mercantile Library since 1932. The property will be delivered vacant and offers approximately 17,500 s/f of usable space.
Zoning and excess air rights of approximately 20,485 s/f present an opportunity for re-development. In total, there are over 38,000 buildable square feet available to create a new project.

Investor has Bayside Vision

Vision Enterprises has paid $12.75 million for a mixed used property in Bayside, Queens.
The buyer intends to hold the 38,000 s/f two-building propert as a long-term investment in what broker Josh Goldflam called a thirving neighborhood.
“This was a very rare sale by a long-term owner who put his life into these properties,” said Goldflam, a principal at Highcap Group who brokered the sale with colleague Charles Chang,.
“It’s very rare to be able to come across over 200 feet of frontage on a block like Francis Lewis Blvd these days, especially at a respectable CAP rate that the buyers paid. With some work and vision, this property could provide excellent upside potential in a continually growing and thriving neighborhood.”
34-43 to 34-57 Francis Lewis Boulevard spans 232 ft. along Francis Lewis Blvd between 34th and 35th Avenues. The two buildings contain a total of 38,200 s/f and a large parking lot on the side and rear of the property.
One building is a two-story structure with three retail tenants and two office tenants. This property has air rights to develop two additional floors for commercial or residential use.
The other building is a newer construction that features 21 free market rental apartments with a large ground floor retail space that houses a Dollar Tree retail store. The 10,000 s/f basement was formerly a gym and karate studio and is currently vacant and in need of renovation.
The properties were delivered fully occupied at a Capitalization Rate of 5.2 percent.

Caspi planning boutique Williamsburg office development

Caspi Development and Mactaggart Family & Partners LP have purchased a 23,064 s/f corner Williamsburg office building in deal brokered by Michael Sherman of The Manhattes Group.
The buyers intend to turn the property into a boutique office building for high tech and creative office tenants.


Originally built in 1901 for the Nassau Trust Company, the impressive six-story building at 134-136 Broadway was delivered partially vacant of the financial companies that have populated the offices for the past several years, according to Joshua Caspi, principal of Caspi Development.
The JV partnership paid $18.85 million to the seller, an LLC led by David Ekstein.
Caspi said work will get underway next month on renovating the building to modernize the mechanicals and build out contemporary offices for what he calls “a home-grown, organic office development.”
Caspi explained, “My program is to attract home-grown business and ventures within Brooklyn. Based on my smaller floorplates, rentable office floors will range around 5,000 s/f.”
The property will have a common roof deck and a private rooftop terrace on the sixth floor. Offices will be built out with high-end finishes and tenant amenities.
“We have a specific program where we buy older buildings that have good fundamental characteristics and we rehab them as high-end modern office buildings,” said Caspi, noting that the company is looking to replicate the success it has had with similar ventures on The Bowery and in Tribeca.
“With our location in Williamsburg, we feel that there’s a real opportunity to appeal to the same dynamic.”
While this is Caspi’s first office venture in Brooklyn, the company is no stranger to the neighborhood having owned and developed apartment properties in Park Slope, Bed-Stuy, Greenpoint and Clinton Hill
Caspi said, “The number of residents that are currently looking for office stock in Brooklyn are such that I can provide something more unique on a small scale basis.”

Complex offering in Connecticut

A LEED-Certified campus in the Wallingford submarket of New Haven is available for sale.
Cushman & Wakefield is offering a 100 percent leasehold interest in the Campus at Green Hill, a 104-acre complex at 108 Leigus Road on the I-91 corridor.
The two-story building offers 288,795 rentable square feet that is 75 percent leased to three well-known tenants.
Application-ready land can accommodate more than 440,000 s/f of additional office space. Cushman & Wakefield’s Andrew Merin is heading the assignment.



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