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Deals & Dealmakers

Selling Points: Stellar Management sells SoHo boutique, Equus sells CT portfolio

Xinyuan Real Estate

Chinese expand NYC residential presence

Xinyuan Real Estate Co., announced that its U.S. development arm, XIN Development Group International, has acquired a parcel of land, located on 10th Avenue and between 44th Street and 45th Street, in Midtown for $57.5 million.

The city block-front parcel has 200 feet of frontage on 10th Avenue and includes both corners of the side streets.

The land allows for approximately 105,000 s/f. The company’s plans for the mixed-use project include approximately 75 to 90 one and two bedroom condos and a landscaped roof deck as well as approximately 20,000 s/f of ground floor retail space.

XIN expects to begin construction on this property in the second half of 2016.

Yong Zhang, Xinyuan’s chairman, commented, “We are very pleased to expand our presence in the New York residential real estate development market with this well-located, mid-rise, modern design project.

“Midtown West in Manhattan has experienced a surge in construction and housing demand in recent years creating compelling economics for the residential condo units and retail space we plan to build at this new location.

“Given the location of this project, we expect it will be appealing to both local and foreign buyers and this deal gives XIN the flexibility to consider additional projects in Manhattan and other locations. We look forward to providing you with updates on this project in the months ahead.”

Herrick, Feinstein LLP represented XIN . The Herrick team included real estate department chair Belinda Schwartz, real estate partner Christina Ying, real estate associate Kaylie Lotzof, and senior planning and development specialist Jennifer Dickson.

Cushman & Wakefield

Stellar sells Soho boutique

Cushman & Wakefield, on behalf of Stellar Management, has sold a loft office building located at 123 Lafayette Street in a transaction valued at $33.5 million.

The building sits on the east side of Lafayette Street between Howard and Canal Streets in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

Stellar purchased the building in October of 2013 for $10.75 million and immediately embarked on an extensive renovation program that turned the property into a boutique, “Class A” office building catering to the burgeoning TAMI sector.

The six-story office building has 63 feet of frontage along Lafayette Street and consists of approximately 21,916 rentable square feet. The sale price equates to just over $1,525 per rentable square foot.

The newly renovated property is a 100 percent occupied turn-key office building with ground floor retail. The office portion of the building features five full-floor office spaces currently occupied by three unique tenants.

The retail units are Dunkin’ Donuts and Love Hate Social Club. Additionally, there is a rooftop cellular antenna and a mounted sign that provide additional revenue streams.

“This outstanding core asset offers an investor a fully stabilized incomeproducing

property with minimal leasing risk and strong cash flow for years to come,” said Bob Knakal, chairman, New York Investment Sales at Cushman & Wakefield who exclusively handled this transaction with Robert Burton and Jonathan Hageman.

“We were able to quickly identify a buyer with a 1031 requirement seeking exactly this kind of property,” added Burton.

Equus Capital Partners

Equus sells CT portfolio

Equus Capital Partners, a private equity fund manager, announced the sale of Madison Chestnut Hill and Madison Northwoods.

The 650-unit apartment portfolio is located in Middletown, CT, 15 miles south of downtown Hartford.

The two-property portfolio was sold to Hampshire Properties. At the time of the sale, the communities were 95 percent occupied.

“This offering presented investors with a rare opportunity to acquire a critical mass of well-maintained  units across two complementary properties in a desirable bedroom community in New England.” commented Greg Curci, vice president of Equus who was responsible for overseeing the disposition for the firm.

The seller was represented by Victor Nolletti and Steve Witten of Institutional Property Advisors.

Built in 1986, the two properties are situated directly across from each other in the Westlake neighborhood of Middletown, CT.

An affiliate of Equus acquired Madison Chestnut Hill and Madison Northwoods from AIMCO in 2008 as part of a three-property portfolio.  The transaction was made on behalf of BPG Investment Partnership VIII and VIII A, L.P., a $550 million private equity fund managed by Equus.

GFI Realty Services

GFI brokers midtown sale

GFI Realty Services announced the $20.5 million sale of 259 West 34th Street in Midtown.

GFI’s Aron Taub represented both the buyer, Cornell Realty, and the seller, the Moran family.

“Located in the heart of Midtown, near Penn Station, Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building, the 34th Street corridor sees a huge amount of foot traffic, and is an ideal location for hotel and retail development,” said Taub.

“Cornell’s visionary approach and strong business plan will add value to the assemblage, while benefitting tourists and pedestrians in the heart of Midtown.”

Currently occupied by a Wendy’s restaurant, the property is a strategic pick-up for Cornell, which intends to develop a combined 160,000 s/f of hospitality and retail space at 259 West 34th and several neighboring properties.

Cornell also recently acquired several other area properties in joint-venture partnership with Chetrit Group.

“The Moran family had owned the property for decades, originally operating an Irish restaurant onsite, and leasing space to Wendy’s in recent years,” Taub said.

“They decided to divest of it now because they respect the sincerity and ability of Cornell, and believe that the successful execution of their plan will contribute to the continued invigoration of the area.”


Senior community fetches $48M

Institutional Property Advisors (IPA), a division of Marcus & Millichap specializing in serving institutional and major private real estate investors, announces the sale of two senior living communities in Upstate New York.

The properties are Emeritus at Landing of Brockport and Emeritus at Landing of Queensbury. The total sales price for the two assets is $48 million.

“This transaction represents an excellent opportunity for the buyer to continue its successful operations in Upstate New York and for the seller to generate additional liquidity to be deployed into further successful seniors housing investments,” said Mark Myers.

Myers, Joshua Jandris, and Charles Hilding represented the seller, a private family office from the Rochester area. The buyer is Brookdale Senior Living.

Combined, the Emeritus at Landing facilities in Brockport and Queensbury consist of 183 units.


Tonnelle retail center sold

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler closed the sale of Tonnelle Plaza, a 350,000 s/f retail center with a warehouse component in North Bergen, New Jersey.

HFF marketed the property on behalf of the seller, 8101 Tonnelle Avenue, LLC.  An affiliate of New York-based Northeast Capital Group and BHN Associates purchased the asset free and clear of existing debt.

Tonnelle Plaza was renovated in 2008 after being developed by the seller in 1990.

Anchored by ALDI and Burlington Coat Factory, the 95.7 percent leased center is also home to Planet Fitness, Chuck E. Cheese, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Sally Beauty Supply, Subway, McDonalds, All Pet Distributors and Good Chinese Kitchen.

In addition to the 155,500 s/f of retail space, the two-level center has 196,000 s/f of warehouse space fully leased to three tenants.

Tonnelle Plaza is less than 10 miles from Midtown Manhattan and in the Hudson waterfront retail submarket.

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

“Tonnelle Plaza is located in one of Northern New Jersey’s most densely-populated neighborhoods,” Cruz said.  “The property benefits from a wide array of shoppers and is a great addition to the new partnership’s portfolio.”

Northeast Capital Group CEO Joel Kiss, said, “This property was very appealing due to its stellar real estate along with the unique diversification benefit of having retail and industrial uses. Similarly appealing was the strong value-add opportunities here, especially with the 10 percent retail vacancy and below market rents.”

Northeast Capital Group (NECG) is a private equity investment group, which is based in New York’s Rockland County.

Cushman & Wakefield

High Line Portfolio hits market

Cushman & Wakefield has been retained to sell a corner portfolio of mixed-use properties located on the northwest corner of Tenth Avenue and West 22nd Street and adjacent to the High Line in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

The asking price is $37,500,000.

The properties, located at 505 West 22nd Street and 203, 205, and 207 Tenth Avenue, are being offered for sale for the first time in over 30 years.

They feature protected rooftop views of the Chelsea Historic District to the east and the High Line running north and south.

The buildings have 162 ft. of frontage. There are 26 apartments and four ground floor retail spaces as well as 7,185 s/f of air rights .

“The High Line Portfolio presents a rare opportunity to purchase one of the last prime corners in West Chelsea left undeveloped. Being adjacent to the High Line to the west and having light and air preserved by the Chelsea Historic District to the east also makes it one of the best corners,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Brock Emmetsberger, who is exclusively marketing this property along with Winfield Clifford.

Mack Cali Realty Corp.

Mack-Cali makes core move

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation announced the acquisition 3 Sylvan Way, an empty 147,241 s/f, three-story, class A office building located in Parsippany, New Jersey.

This acquisition enhances the company’s holdings at the 600-acre Mack-Cali Business Campus, which includes 15 class A office properties totaling approximately 2.1 million square feet of space.

Along with One and 5 Sylvan Way, the buildings share a connected, below-grade parking structure which acts as a protected walkway and provides access for tenants to utilize amenities across the complex.

The buildings will be repositioned as an interconnected three-building mini campus, as part of the overall Campus.

“This acquisition is an example of how Mack-Cali is making it a priority to focus on our core holdings, like the Business Campus, that offer state-of-the-art office spaces with first-class amenities,” said Mack-Cali president Michael DeMarco.

“We are looking forward to making considerable investments in the entire Mack-Cali Business Campus to continue strengthening its position as a leading office location.”


Swedes spend $92M on apartment spree

Swedish investment company Akelius Residential Property has acquired 258 apartments in Boston.

The properties were acquired in two separate transactions.

One of the properties is located in Cambridge near Harvard University. The property was constructed in 1964.

The other four properties were built around 1920 and are located in Somerville and Brighton. The price was $92 million.

Jordan Milewicz, country manager for Akelius in the US said, “MIT and Harvard are two of the best universities in the world. They contribute to the population growth of Boston, which, together with good locations, is the best insurance against vacancy.ˮ


Roseland buys out apartment partner

Roseland, a subsidiary of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, announced the acquisition of a former joint venture partner’s interest in The Chase at Overlook Ridge, a 371-unit luxury residential building located in Malden, Massachusetts, six miles outside Boston.

The Chase, completed in early 2014, is currently more than 96 percent leased and is the most recent completion in Roseland’s Overlook Ridge community.

“The Chase acquisition allows Roseland to further expand our ownership and financial presence in our Overlook Ridge master planned community adjacent to the recent construction start of The Chase II,” said Andy Marshall, chief operating officer of Roseland.

In November 2015, Roseland commenced construction on The Chase II at Overlook Ridge, which will include 292 luxury residential units.

When completed, the new development will be operated as part of a combined 663-unit community together with The Chase.

Roseland owns development rights to approximately 800 additional units at Overlook Ridge and owns the 722-unit Alterra community.

Cushman & Wakefield

University taps C&W to market campus

St. John’s University has retained Cushman & Wakefield to offer for sale its 170-acre Oakdale campus.

The university is exploring all future options regarding its Oakdale site. The campus includes 11 buildings totaling 260,000 s/f. Present zoning permits both continued school use as well as the right to construct residential units.

A capital markets team including members of the firm’s Metropolitan Area Capital Market Group – Andrew Merin, David Bernhaut, Gary Gabriel, Brian Whitmer, Ryan Dowd and David Pennetta – as well as Helen Hwang and Karen Wiedenmann, formerly of Cushman & Wakefield, are heading the assignment.

“We anticipate interest from a broad range of prospects,” said Whitmer. “The waterfront location, expansive bay views, large parcel size, frontage on the Sunrise Highway and availability of existing structures for repurposing make this a truly rare and unique opportunity given the scarcity of comparable sites on Long Island.”

Located directly on the Great South Bay at 500 Montauk Highway, the property was originally the waterfront estate.

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