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Deals & Dealmakers

SELLING POINTS: SL Green hears opportunity knock; Madison Ave. church sold

Development opportunity knocking

SL Green has bought the adjacent parcels 19-21 East 65th Street and 752 Madison Avenue for $282.4 million, according to city records.
A partnership between SL Green, Stonehenge Partners and Jeff Sutton had previously acquired the ground lease for the building from David Frankel. The latest purchase should give the office REIT the opportunity to redevelop the site.
SL Green bought the site from a company called Weatherly 65th Street. The Real Deal, which broke the news, wrote that the seller was represented by a Massey Knakal team including CEO Paul Massey and Guthrie Garvin, Michael Gembecki and Tyler Hughes.
The sale was filed in public records on July 21, days before the firm announced agreements to sell three Manhattan properties for a combined $656 million with a net cash gain of $240 million.
The largest slated transaction of the bunch, the dealing of the leased fee interest to 2 Herald Square, will account for $365 million when the deal closes in the final quarter of this year.
SL Green also announced it plans to finalize the sale of 180 Broadway for $222.5 million with their partner on the venture, Jeff Sutton, during the third quarter.

College Board sells to
Fordham University


Cassidy Turley represented the College Board in selling its nine-story, 65,303 s/f headquarters at 45 Columbus Avenue to Fordham University for $49.5 million.
The College Board will relocate its headquarters to a 165,000 s/f space at Brookfield Place at 250 Vesey Street.
“The College Board chose Fordham University over several residential developers because both parties shared the same visions and goals for the space,” said David Lebenstein, senior managing director and principal of Cassidy Turley, who worked the deal with colleague Graham Stephens.
“The transaction provided Fordham with the rare opportunity to consolidate three locations into one central office in close proximity to its Lincoln Center campus, further expanding its footprint in the Upper West Side. In short, it was a win-win for both institutions.”
The property occupies the lower floors of the Sofia, a 27-story, 94-unit luxury residential condominium.
Joe Morningstar at Hudson Realty Capital, represented Fordham University. Also involved in the transaction were Kirk Diamond and Tim Farley of Cassidy Turley’s Atlanta office, both of whom have represented the College Board in several national transactions over a period of 15 years.

● newmark grubb knight frank
Mad. Ave. church sold

NGKF Capital Markets represented Madison Avenue Baptist Church in the sale of 30 East 31st Street.
Certes Partners paid approximately $16 million for the property, which had been the church’s parish house.
The deal was negotiated a year ago, but required a delayed closing for the seller to make necessary changes to the church sanctuary.
The building is on a 4,500 s/f site behind the Roger Williams Hotel, on the corner of 31st Street and Madison Avenue in the NoMad neighborhood.

Madison Avenue Baptist Church
Madison Avenue Baptist Church

Zoning allows for as much as 45,000 s/f of residential construction as-of-right. Additional air rights can be added through inclusionary housing bonuses.
The deal involved a specialized valuation, carefully timed capital improvements, tenant negotiations and multi-level government approvals prior to closing, according to Chip Porter, the NGKF managing director who marketed the site with David Colen, Bill Lee, and Bart McDade.
“Our client faced exorbitant upkeep on an aging building that was beyond repair or renovation. The church also faced a herculean task in separating the property from the church sanctuary in an adjacent building,” Colen said.
“We facilitated the moving pieces and are pleased with the purchase price, while securing the funds for the church to renovate and improve their sanctuary space, as well as fund ongoing initiatives of the Madison Avenue Baptist Church for many years to come.”
NGKF’s Landauer Valuation & Advisory provided valuation expertise in the transaction.

ARC sees potential in Upstate market

CBRE Group, Inc. (CBRE) has arranged the sale of the Ingram Micro East Coast Headquarters complex, an office campus in suburban Buffalo, to American Realty Capital Properties for a $24.5 million, or $123 psf.
CBRE’s Ned Midgley and Dan Kaplan represented the seller, Winthrop Realty Trust, along with V. Jeffrey LiPuma and Bob Starzynski of CBRE’s Buffalo office.
Midgley said the sale of the two-building, 200,075 s/f campus is indicative of a trend where institutional investors are expanding their geographic horizons in the search for quality real estate with attractive returns.
“Although Buffalo has not been on many institutional real estate investors’ short list of markets to invest in, the quality of the campus, the strength of the local market and Ingram’s financial strength created substantial investor interest,” added Midgley.

$1,000 psf East Village deal

Friedman-Roth announced the sale of a six-story walk-up building at 113 St. Marks Place in the East Village.
The property contains 10 residential units and two commercial tenants, including hot dog haunt Crif Dogs and a reservations-only bar.
“With over 15 real offers, the sale price of this property represents the continued demand for income generating properties in this area,” said Richard T. Guarino who represented the seller.
“We are seeing historic highs on a price per square foot basis.”
The seller, Andrew Detore of Andrew Property Management, purchased the property at 113 St. Marks Place with his father in 2005. The property sold for a total of $7,400,000, which represents a price of nearly $1,000 psf.
Joseph A. Smith also from Friedman-Roth Realty Services procured the buyer on this transaction.

Zohar Cohen buys $100M ski resorts

New York City based real estate investor Zohar A. Cohen, through his ownership entity Cohen Braffits Estates Development, has purchased the $60 million first mortgage on 2,600 acres located in Iron County, Utah and known as Braffits Mountain.
The note was purchased prior to year end, 2013. In addition, the Cohen Brian Head Development, LLC announced it has purchased Grand Lodge at Brian Head, a luxury ski resort located at Brian Head, Utah.
The purchase price for the properties totaled approximately $100 million. That transaction has recently closed.
The assets are being managed by Arthur W. Levine, special counsel and advisor to Cohen, along with Kenneth I. Denos an executive of a New York Stock Exchange listed firm, Equus Total Return.
“We are thrilled to have acquired this extraordinary property in one of the country’s most desirable recreational areas. The property is in a prime tourism location that can serve guests, year round,” said Levine.
He said the aim is to make the Brian Head resort “one of the country’s premier destinations for travel and tourism. Our plans for Braffits Creek Estates will be developed over the next twelve months.ˮ

● eastern consolidated
Midtown development site hits

Eastern Consolidated has been retained as the exclusive agent to market for sale a block-through development site at 321 West 43rd Street and 322-326 West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan.
The site is zoned for 35,428 s/f on 8,435 s/f of land, which is currently occupied by an 8,400 s/f commercial parking lot and can be delivered vacant.
“This opportunity has tremendous potential for a residential, hotel, and retail development that will be controlled under a 99-year triple net leasehold,” said Brian Ezratty, who along with Scott Ellard exclusively represents the owner.


“Situated at the focal point of the area’s core business district, this site plays a major role in West Clinton/Hudson Yards, one of the city’s most important zoning districts that will define Midtown’s expansion west to the Hudson River.”

● massey knakal
Queens apartment building
fetches $21M

An apartment building at 42-72 80th Street, on the corner of 45th Avenue and 80th Street in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, was sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $21,000,000.
The six-story elevator-serviced building contains 89,000 s/f and consists of 103 residential units, of which 95 are free market and eight are rent stabilized, and 21 indoor parking spaces.
The sale price equates to approximately $236 psf. Massey Knakal’s Thomas Donovan, who handled the deal, noted it works out to $203,883 per unit.

● keystone property group
Mack-Cali joint venture seals
another deal

A joint venture led by Keystone Property Group announced that it has closed on the acquisition of 17-17 Route 208 North in Fair Lawn, N.J. for approximately $12.5 million from Mack-Cali Realty Corporation.
The closing is part of a portfolio acquisition agreement entered into earlier this year between Keystone and Mack-Cali to form various joint ventures to acquire the portfolio of several office properties that Mack-Cali owns throughout Northern New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.
17-17 Route 208 North is a three-story, 150,477 s/f class A office building, featuring underground executive parking for 114 cars, as well as surface parking.
“In line with our strategy to create value through reinvestment, we look forward to executing on our plans to enhance 17-17 Route 208 North by making upgrades to the building’s common areas,” said Bill Glazer, president of Keystone.
“The property’s desirable Bergen County location, with direct access to a robust highway network, positions it strongly in the regional market among quality tenants.”
Earlier this year, Keystone closed on four other New Jersey commercial properties as part of the company’s portfolio deal with Mack-Cali, including 412 Mt. Kemble Avenue in Morris Township, 30 Knightsbridge Road in Piscataway, 470 Chestnut Ridge Road in Woodcliff Lake, and 530 Chestnut Ridge Road in Woodcliff Lake.

● newmark grubb knight frank
Curtain goes up on theater offering
After creating a concert and event venue that regularly hosts A-list entertainers, the owner of The Wellmont Theater at 5 Seymour Street in Montclair, NJ, is looking to sell the historic property.

Wellmont Theatre
Wellmont Theatre

NGKF Capital Markets was selected by The Rosen Group to exclusively market the theater, located in the town’s burgeoning arts district.
“This is a thriving, landmarked theater that has showcased such big-time musicians as Lenny Kravitz and B.B. King and is ideally situated steps from Montclair’s major thoroughfare, Bloomfield Avenue, also a regional dining and shopping destination,” said John Goodkind, executive managing director with NGKF Capital Markets, who is working with NGKF Capital Markets executives Steven Schultz, Mitch Katz and Stuart Harwood, to market the site.
“The property stands to prosper even more as the city updates the downtown with additional mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly development and draws in millennials who seek the live-work-play environment that Montclair has to offer.”
Opened in 1922, the theater underwent more than $5 million in renovations since 2008 and was redeveloped by The Rosen Group to become a concert venue.
The theater now holds up to 2,600 people or about 1,500 for seated events and comes with a transferable liquor license.
This investment opportunity comes as Montclair is planning the expansion of its downtown redevelopment to create a theater and arts district that will include new residential, commercial and parking properties.

Island screaming “opportunity”

DTZ’s Capital Markets Group has been retained to sell a 42-acre, oceanfront development site in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.
The site is fully entitled and approved for 298 residential units and 25,000 s/f of commercial space. Hotel and Beach Club are also approved uses.
The parcel has several hundred feet of sandy beach, extends uninterrupted through the island to several hundred feet fronting the Intracoastal Waterway .
Jeffrey Donnelly, who leads the Capital Markets Group out of New York, said, “This is the last remaining large-scale development site on Ocean Isle Beach.”
Added Joel Weinberg, “ Ocean Isle Beach is a beautiful, picture post card Carolina beach town. With 25,000 square feet zoned for commercial use, this represents a wonderful potential to introduce some shopping and restaurants for the underserved West end of the island. This end of the island is screaming for these kinds of services.”

● chambers street properties
$47M for Space place

Chambers Street Properties has purchased 1 Rocket Road, an industrial property of approximately 510,000 s/f in Hawthorne, California, for $46.7 million.
The property is the headquarters of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, which designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft.
The private company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, its CEO and Chief Designer, with the goal of revolutionizing space transportation. The property is fully leased on a net lease basis through January 2023.
Jack A. Cuneo, CEO of Chambers Street commented, “The private commercial launch business is extremely active and growing rapidly, as private sector companies like SpaceX demonstrate creative, efficient and innovative systems to deliver payloads for space station resupply and commercial satellite launch missions, and US government science and national security missions.”

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