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Deals & Dealmakers

SELLING POINTS: Zara buys Elmhurst apartments, JLL markets ‘Billionaires Row’ dev site

Queens investor makes long-term commitment

Zara Realty has purchased 94-25 57th Avenue in Elmhurst, Queens for $56.5 million.

The 163-unit apartment building at Junction Boulevard was sold by Treetop Development in a deal brokered by Rosewood Realty Group.

Queens-based Zara said it will make significant investments to serve tenants of the property, including new facades, doors, roof, outdoor landscaping and improvements to the courtyard.

The building has a garage and a laundry room.

A leading local owner and manager in the borough, Zara Realty has never sold a building it has purchased in Queens.

“We are proud to invest in the communities where we live and work,” said Anthony Subraj, principal of the family-owned firm.

“My own family came to Queens as immigrants from Guyana and we have spent a lifetime investing in neighborhoods that are home to a diverse population, including immigrants from all parts of the globe. This is what makes Queens so special to our firm and it is why we are so confident in its future success.”

“We are constantly striving to preserve existing housing stock, while improving and modernizing the facilities to best serve our tenants,” added Amir Sobhraj, financial controller at Zara Realty.

The 187,000 s/f building, which has two elevators, is home to a daycare center and doctors’ offices on the ground-floor. Apartments are range from studios to three-bedrooms, with the majority being one-bedroom.
Treetop purchased the property for $40.7 million in 2016.

Billionaire’s building site for sale

JLL is marketing a development site along Midtown’s Billionaire’s Row corridor for owner Kiska Development.
Located at 135 East 56th Street, the property offers 175,000 s/f of buildable area.

JLL’s Mo Beler, Glenn Tolchin, Anthony Ledesma and Yoav Oelsner, along with Aaron Appel,are handling the assignment.

“This is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a highly visible development site in the elite Plaza District,” said Beler.

“The property’s flexible zoning permits a wide range of uses, including the development of a luxury condominium project, flagship hotel, boutique office building, corporate headquarters, high-end assisted living facility, or mixed-use tower. The scarcity of developable sites in the neighborhood, and the property’s ideal location, provide an outstanding investment opportunity for a forward-thinking buyer.”

The land assemblage comprises 10 individual lots on the northwest corner of 56th Street and Lexington Avenue.

The site has no height restrictions and zoning that allows for condos, a boutique office, hospitality, retail and mixed-use configurations.

Bostonians continue push into NY

Boston’s DFS Group has paid $91 million for a 300-unit Tarrytown apartment complex.

CBRE announced that Jeffrey Dunne, Gene Pride and Eric Apfel represented the seller, a U.S.-based REIT, in the sale of Talleyrand Apartments, in Tarrytown, N.Y., to an affiliate of The DSF Group.

“We are pleased to have represented our client in the sale of Talleyrand Apartments. There was strong demand for the offering given the fantastic location in Tarrytown, which continues to be recognized as one of the hottest neighborhoods in Westchester with value add potential,” said Dunne, a Vice Chairman at CBRE.

“The DSF Group will do very well with the asset, as they have a great track record of creating value with similar opportunities. Purchasing the Talleyrand Apartments is a logical expansion of their current Westchester portfolio.”

Josh Solomon, president of DSF, continued, “We are excited to further expand our presence within the metro New York market, and we look forward to bringing our amenity-rich Halstead brand to Tarrytown.”

Brooklyn protfolio offered for $11M

Westbridge Realty Group has been exclusively retained to handle the $11 million sale of a four-building Brooklyn portfolio, containing a total of 23 apartments and one store in Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The gut renovated buildings total 20,400 s/f and include: 962 Myrtle Avenue, 638 Kosciuszko Street, 663 Evergreen Avenue and 739 Macdonough Street. The properties are selling at $458,000 per unit, at a 5.03 percent cap rate. The one store is vacant and all but one of apartments are priced at market rate.

“This portfolio is a rare opportunity to gain a foothold in the coveted neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, an extremely hard sub-market to break into due to a lack of product,” said Westbridge Realty’s Hen Vaknin, who is representing the seller, GPS Capital, a local Brooklyn investor.

“An investor can walk in to quality cash-flowing assets with low tax bills, low management costs, and great long-term upside potential.”

Signature spending spree hits $251M

Signature Acquisitions has purchased The CenterPointe Portfolio in Bridgewater, New Jersey, from American Real Estate Partners.

CBRE announced that Jeffrey Dunne, Jeremy Neuer and Travis Langer of CBRE Institutional Properties represented the seller and procured the buyer.

Located directly on Route 22 in Bridgewater, the portfolio consists of four Class A office buildings totaling 331,354 s/f.

A capital program instituted by the seller led to new deals with All State, PVH and others and has increased occupancy to 90 percent. Since 2015, the property has completed over 197,000 s/f of new leasing and over 38,000 s/f of renewals.

Dunne commented: “American Real Estate Partners’ extensive capital investment coupled with their aggressive leasing program increased occupancy from 41 percent to 90 percent. Simply stated, they did an incredible job.”

Signature Acquisitions has been one of the most active purchasers of suburban office buildings in the region.

In the past 18 months, CBRE has sold them buildings in Hauppauge and Tarrytown, New York and Clark and Cranford, New Jersey with an overall value, including CenterPointe, in excess of $215 million.

Partners planning turnaround of Mack-Cali property

Bergman Real Estate Group and Gottesman Real Estate Partners acquired a 94,000 s/f office property at 75 Livingston Avenue in Roseland, NJ.

The property was purchased from Mack-Cali Realty Corporation announced the firms’ principals, Michael Bergman, President and CEO of the Woodbridge, NJ based Bergman Real Estate Group and Andrew Gottesman, CEO of the Chatham, NJ based Gottesman Real Estate Partners.

The Bergman/Gottesman joint venture was represented by Michael DiFede, Director of Acquisitions for Bergman and Patrick Leary, Vice President of Gottesman Real Estate Partners.

Acquisition financing was provided by TriState Capital Bank who was represented by Alex Fatenko, Senior Vice President.

75 Livingston Avenue is a modern, three-story office building on 7.5 acres of landscaped grounds at the corner of Livingston Avenue and Becker Farm Road.

The property was originally developed by Bellemead Development Corporation in the mid-1980s as part of a nine-building, 1.2 million square-foot office campus known as 280 Corporate Center, one of the most desirable and conveniently located campuses in New Jersey.

“Our two firms’ philosophy is to invest in well located, undervalued assets with long term growth potential,” Bergman said.

“We see 75 Livingston as an ideal addition to our growing portfolio of suburban office buildings that are ripe for repositioning.”

The building was 67% occupied at acquisition, leased to local law firms and other professional businesses. The joint venture plans to invest more than $1.7 million toward capital improvements over the next 24 months.
The acquisition of 75 Livingston represents the fourth joint venture between Bergman Real Estate Group and Gottesman Real Estate Partners.

Buyers still sweet on retail

Marcus & Millichap announced the sale of Somerset Plaza Shopping Center, a 67,530 s/f retail shopping center located in Franklin Park, Somerset County, for $12,775,000.

Alan Cafiero, Brent Hyldahl, and Ben Sgambati of Marcus & Millichap’s New Jersey office, procured the buyer, a private investor.

“The seller was not actively marketing the property for sale, but would entertain an offer,” said Cafiero. “We had an excellent local buyer who we have closed with before that we brought to the table and made the deal.”

The property is tenanted by a roster of 11 companies including Good Fortune, Dollar General, Papa John’s Pizza and PNC Bank.

According to Cafiero, “Although the headlines are saying that there are significant issues in the retail sector, we are still seeing a tremendous demand for well located and well leased shopping centers in New Jersey.”

New Astoria condo hits sales market

Cushman & Wakefield has been retained to sell Astoria Central, a newly-constructed residential property at 31-57 31st Street, Downtown Astoria, Queens.

Bob Knakal, Jonathan Hageman, Stephen Palmese, Hall Oster and Tom Donovan are exclusively marketing the property.

“This is an outstanding opportunity given the quality of construction, the proximity to transportation and the vibrant local neighborhood which provides significant amenities to local residents. It is rare that an asset like this comes to market in a location like this given the relative lack of new construction in the neighborhood,” said Knakal, Chairman, NY Investment Sales of Cushman & Wakefield.

The 7-story, 114 apartment luxury elevator serviced rental property totals 122,516 square feet above grade and features 325 feet of frontage with a diversified income stream including residential, retail, community facility and garage components (123 total units). Purchasers will reap the benefits of a combination of 421A and ICAP abatements that will significantly offset property taxes over the next 15-25 years.

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