Multifamily deals dominate strong week of NYC i-sales

What had been a quiet month for mid-market investment sales in New York City got busy last week, with multifamily properties again proving to be a highly sought-after asset class.

Five of the seven transactions between $10 million and $40 million that hit city property records included apartment buildings or plans for them. Four were in Brooklyn, two were in Manhattan and one was in the Bronx.

Below are details on each sale, ranked by dollar figure.

1. Entities connected to the development firm Tankhouse bought a development site at 452 Union Street in Gowanus for $40.7 million from an entity tied to Pilot Real Estate Group. The site, which has qualified for the now-expired 421a tax abatement, is a wedding venue that will be demolished. Tankhouse plans a mixed-use development on the lot, which stretches a full city block and borders the Gowanus Canal. Pilot received approval in April for excavation work for an eight-story, 81,000-square-foot building with 24 apartments. The project is also expected to include 35,000 square feet for commercial use. Pilot acquired the site for $12.3 million from Meadow Street Partners in 2014.

2. An entity connected to HUBB NYC Properties bought a mixed-use residential and retail building at 223-225 Fourth Avenue in Park Slope for $40 million from an entity tied to Greystone Development. Cushman & Wakefield’s Dan O’Brien and Adam Spies brokered the transaction. The 48,200-square-foot building has 63 units across 13 floors. Greystone, which purchased it in 2015 for $13.5 million, put it on the market in 2020. The property qualifies for the 421a tax break.

3. An entity tied to JRC Management bought a pair of apartment buildings at 156 and 162 East Seventh Street in Alphabet City for $22 million from Peter Herrick. Cushman & Wakefield’s Bryan Hurley and Michael DeCheser brokered the deal. The pre-war, five-story buildings consist of 47 units across more than 27,000 square feet. They last sold in 1974 for an undisclosed amount.

4. An entity connected to the bus tour agency TopView Sightseeing bought a trio of adjacent industrial buildings at 421 Longfellow Avenue, 407 Longfellow Avenue and 1335 East Bay Avenue in Hunts Point for $18.5 million from Howard Kramer and Tina Costello. The warehouses, which had not changed hands in more than 50 years, span more than 46,000 square feet.

5. An entity tied to the Carlyle Group bought an apartment building and vacant land at 25 Lexington Avenue in Clinton Hill for $17 million from an entity connected to developer Serabjit Singh. Built in 1931, the 24,000-square-foot building has 23 units across five floors. It last sold for $2.5 million in 2010. The 840-square-foot vacant lot last sold for an undisclosed amount in 2012. The Carlyle Group has been buying small apartment buildings across the city.

6. An entity connected to Gibraltar Management Company bought a retail building at 79-81 Seventh Avenue in Park Slope for $10.6 million from an entity tied to Renaissance Realty Group. Built in 2011, the single-floor property spans 5,100 square feet and houses the pet store Unleashed. The property last sold for $5.1 million in 2007.

7. An entity connected to Relo Redac, the New York–based subsidiary of the Japanese real estate firm Relo Group, sold an apartment building at 111 East 38th Street in Murray Hill for $10.3 million to an entity tied to investor Katherine Cartagena. Built in 1865, the 15,000-square-foot building has 20 units across four floors. It last sold for $9.6 million in 2014.


Northwell exceeds $1B fundraising goal, sets new $400M target

Northwell Health has exceeded its $1 billion fundraising goal and now aims to raise another $400 million.

The New Hyde Park-based health care network raised $1.02 billion by this summer, six months before its own end-of-year deadline, Northwell is due to announce Thursday.

Nearly 170,000 individuals, foundations and corporations contributed to the effort, called “Outpacing the Impossible: The Northwell Campaign.” The donors included 11,000 Northwell employees, who donated more than $15 million. The network is the state’s largest private employer, with 80,000 workers. More than 32,000 gifts came from first-time donors last year, Northwell said.

The outpouring of donations “says a lot about the communities that we serve,” Brian Lally, chief development officer at Northwell, said in an interview. “When COVID hit, communities responded in a way that was absolutely touching.”

The funds have had a “profound impact” on Northwell hospitals, he said.

The $1 billion raised in the last six years includes $412 million for building projects, such as the Petrocelli Advanced Surgical Pavilion under construction at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, the Katz Women’s Surgical Center at Glen Cove Hospital, the recently opened Damaghi Family Surgical Operating Complex at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park and the Entenmann Family Campus and the Bohlsen Neurosciences Center at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, among other facilities.

The remaining funds support programs throughout Northwell, including $61 million to help establish the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

The donations have “significantly boosted advancements in research, education, prevention and treatment,” Northwell president and CEO Michael Dowling said in a statement.

The next phase of fundraising will focus on health disparities, cancer and mental health care, including a new 104-bed psychiatric facility that will connect Cohen Children’s Medical Center with Zucker Hillside Hospital in Queens, Lally said.

The fundraisers help support initiatives such as the breast cancer surgery program at Glen Cove Hospital, said Brooke Mills, who had preventive double mastectomy surgery at Glen Cove last year, after she learned that she was at high risk of breast cancer due to a mutation in a gene known as BRCA.

The surgeons gave her their cellphone numbers so she could ask questions after business hours, and a nurse brought her home-cooked food since her family members could not visit her in the hospital due to the pandemic, said Mills, who lives in Woodmere with her husband and three children, ages 9, 12 and 13.

“They go so above and beyond what is normally considered the standard of care,” said Mills, a sales director at a medical device company. “They really go the extra mile to make sure the entire person is treated, from a psychological and physical perspective.”

Melville retail property trades for $3.3M

A retail property in Melville has sold for $3.3 million. 

505 WW Holdings LLC, an entity registered to a Roslyn-based real estate investment group, purchased the 9,200-square-foot building on 1.16 acres at 505 Walt Whitman Road. 

The property is fully occupied by two tenants, Steinway Piano Gallery and Grace Music. 

The sale price equates to a 7 percent cap rate. 

Michael Gronenthal of Douglas Elliman Commercial represented the buyer, while Ted Trias served as in-house representative for the seller, Rechler Equity Partners, in the sales transaction. 


County extends RXR deadline for Nassau Hub project payment

RXR has received a 60-day extension from Nassau County on a $1 million payment that’s part of its agreement to redevelop the Nassau Coliseum property. 

The benchmark payment was due at the end of August, but RXR now has until the end of next month to pony up the money. 

RXR has proposed a $1.5 billion plan to redevelop some 70 acres around the Coliseum. The project includes a mix of housing, office space and an entertainment component with retail and restaurants for the Uniondale property. 

An RXR spokesman told LIBN the company will be paying the $1 million to the county and is fully prepared to move forward with its plan. RXR entered into an escrow agreement with the Town of Hempstead in April 2021 so that the town’s planning consultant, FP Clark, could work on the project’s environmental review and the review of the developer’s conceptual master plan for the Nassau Hub, which had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’ve submitted everything with the town, the town’s been reviewing and now we’re just waiting for the town to act,” said the spokesman. 

Hempstead Town officials have not responded to several requests for comment on the status of its review or why its review process has taken this long. 

Sources say that both the county and the town have fielded interest from firms eyeing the Coliseum property as a potential site for a casino, though the RXR spokesman maintains that their plan does not contemplate a gaming facility as part of its project. 

However, RXR is exploring the possibility of a redevelopment without the Coliseum, as the venue has struggled to attract events amid competition from the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park. 

A spokesman for Coliseum leaseholder Nassau Live declined to comment. 

Whether it’s with or without the arena, RXR CEO Scott Rechler said his company is still moving forward to redevelop the Coliseum property. 

“The pandemic may have spurred structural shifts in how we live, work, and operate, but my commitment to a new vibrant Nassau Hub in the heart of Long Island has never wavered,” Rechler said via email. “We are working hand-in-hand with the county executive and the town supervisor to turn this vision into a reality.” 


Hotel proposed for Westhampton Beach wins $690,512 in tax breaks over 10 years

A luxury hotel on the site of the former Grassmere Inn in Westhampton Beach has been awarded $690,512 in tax breaks by Suffolk County.

In an unanimous vote last week, the county’s Industrial Development Agency gave final approval for the tax aid to Melville-based developer WHBH Real Estate LLC in return for its investment of $11.6 million in the property and pledge to create about 14 jobs over two years.

The amount of property-tax savings is $224,587 or 22% over 10 years. But even with the tax aid, the project will generate nearly $600,000 more in property taxes over the next decade than if no improvements were made to the historic inn, according to an analysis by the Brooklyn-based consulting firm National Development Council.

The project consists of restoring the Grassmere’s main building, which dates to the 1880s, and tearing down an annex constructed in the 1960s and 1970s and an adjacent cottage. A new annex would be constructed, along with amenities such as an outdoor pool, fitness center and outdoor lounge area with fire pits.

The new hotel, to be called Seven Beach Lane, would have 16 guest rooms,  split equally between the Victorian and modern contemporary styles, according to Corey Gluckstal, managing member of the development company. He said hotel would hopefully open next year.

Gluckstal told the IDA in July that he wants Seven Beach Lane’s guests to patronize nearby bars and restaurants so the hotel’s guests-only bar and restaurant will have a limited menu.


Barnes & Noble’s turnaround to include LI growth, bookseller says

Reading has been more than fundamental for Barnes & Noble.

It also has been more profitable for the book retailer since its sale in 2019 and because of consumers’ changing habits during the COVID-19 pandemic, so much so that the once-struggling chain is opening 16 new stores this year, including one in Riverhead.

“As sales and profits have risen, so has its ability to invest in refurbishments of its existing stores, and in the opening of new bookstores. In short, the expansion is being spurred by its success,” Barnes & Noble told Newsday in emailed responses to questions this week.

The Riverhead store, which will be Barnes & Noble’s eighth Long Island location, will open on or around Nov. 2 at 1470 Old Country Rd. and employ 15 to 20 people, the retailer said. Pier 1 Imports vacated the space in 2020 after the home décor chain’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The renovation work is underway for the bookstore, which is 10,811 square feet, said Nancy Erickson, an executive managing director and broker at real estate firm Colliers International who represents Riverhead Centre’s landlord in leasing.

Barnes & Noble is the only nationwide chain of brick-and-mortar bookstores left in the United States.

For several years, before being sold in 2019, the Manhattan-based retailer struggled as fewer people bought books, and e-commerce giant Amazon, the largest retail seller of books worldwide, chipped away at bookstores’ sales.

In January 2009, Barnes & Noble Inc. had 778 stores, including 726 operating under the Barnes & Noble Booksellers name and 52 operating primarily under the B. Dalton Bookseller name.

Now Barnes & Noble, which has 599 stores, is planning an expansion.

Barnes & Noble’s growth bodes well for all brick-and-mortar stores, including small, independent shops, because the publishing industry wants to see physical stores continue, said Jim Milliot, editorial director of Publishers Weekly, a Manhattan-based trade publication.

“They are the main physical counterweight to Amazon,” he said.

Currently, the only bookstore in Riverhead is a small business called A Book Place, a 700-square-foot shop that East Moriches resident Jocelyn Maningo Kaleita recently opened. The store, located at 489 E. Main St., is about a 10-minute drive from the new Barnes & Noble.

“Seeing as I am a brand-new bookstore owner, I opened in July, it’s not my favorite thing that Barnes & Noble is planning on coming here,” she said.

A Book Place specializes in books by independent and self-published authors — “things that you won’t necessarily find in Barnes & Noble,” said Kaleita, 39.

Some changes in recent years that have improved the fortunes of booksellers.

Online book sales surged during the pandemic, particularly when consumers were stuck at home with limited entertainment options.

Barnes & Noble also was helped by the sale of the company in 2019, book industry experts said.

Private equity firm Elliot Advisors bought Barnes & Noble and brought in James Daunt as the new chief executive of the chain, which became private. Daunt had turned around the largest bookstore chain in England, Waterstones, also owned by Elliot Advisors.

“I think people would say that Daunt and the equity firm that is backing him have put more into the stores that the old regime didn’t and that he’s really infused some different buying ideas in terms of how the [retailer’s] book buyers buy books,” such as placing lower initial orders as part of a plan to lower book returns, Milliot said.

Barnes & Noble also has changed how it manages stores by decentralizing operations by letting its stores decide what books they will carry “to curate the best possible bookstore for their community,” Barnes & Noble said.

Barnes & Noble plans to open 30 stores in 2023, the retailer said.

“This compares to a total of just 15 being opened in the nine years from 2010 to 2019. Before Amazon really knocked back physical bookstores, Barnes & Noble had been able to grow strongly. In the 16 years between 1993 and 2008, it opened an average of 35 new stores each year,” Barnes & Noble said.


Sales price revealed for iconic Hampton Bays bar

The buyer of the Boardy Barn in Hampton Bays remains a mystery, but the price the new owner paid for the iconic bar has been revealed.

Suffolk County deed transfers disclosed the purchase price on the property at 270 West Montauk Highway to be $4 million, Behind the Hedges reported. The 2.6-acre property in Hampton Bays was put up for sale about a year ago, but lacked a listing price ahead of the May transaction.

Beyond the price revelation, little is still known about who bought the property and what they plan to do with it. A buyer using the name Vozi Realty purchased the well-known establishment. The seller used the name Deja Vu All Over Again, which the late Yogi Berra would surely enjoy.

Boardy Barn opened its doors more than 50 years ago, and its ownership remained the same for more than a half-century.

When the property was put on the market last fall, the owners of the seasonal outpost said on its website that they were looking forward to the 2022 summer season. However, the property sold at the start of May and the bar never opened for the summer.

Business as usual is still a possibility for the bar, but redevelopment is also on the table. There’s 16,000 square feet of usable space, including a 4,000-square-foot main building and an area used for a tent and patio. The main building can fit 720 people sitting and more than double that standing.

JLL said in listing the property that investors would have an opportunity to redevelop, possibly taking advantage of the property’s zoning for highway business and features 270 feet of frontage on the thoroughfare.

The sale of the Boardy Barn marks the end of an era for the business, even if a bar remains in its place. Co-founder Tony Galgano died in November at the age of 78.


Distributor to expand at new 103,500-SF Melville warehouse

A national beverage distributor will be expanding at a planned warehouse project in Melville. 

Keurig Dr. Pepper has pre-leased an entire 103,500-square-foot warehouse that will be built on 8.18 acres at 125 Baylis Road. The company will be relocating from an adjacent building it’s been leasing at 135 Baylis Road. 

The new warehouse and distribution facility is being developed by Phoenix-based Creation Equity and assisted by J.P. Morgan. The developer purchased the 100,000-square-foot office building at 125 Baylis Road for $10.716 million in August 2021 and is currently securing approvals for redeveloping the site. 

The plan calls for demolishing the existing office building and replacing it with the new warehouse and distribution center, featuring 32-foot ceilings, 20 dock doors and two drive-in bays. The new building will have 96,900 square feet of warehouse space and 6,600 square feet of office space. 

Formed in 2018 with the merger of Keurig Green Mountain and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, publicly traded Keurig Dr. Pepper owns several well-known brands including Snapple, Canada Dry, 7 Up, Green Mountain Coffee, Mott’s, Hires Root Beer, and many more. The company, which employs nearly 27,000 people, reported net sales of $12.7 billion last year. 

Phil Heilpern of CBRE represented the tenant, while his CBRE colleague Paul Leone represented the landlord in the Melville lease transaction. 


Ronkonkoma megadevelopment to drop arenas

The massive Midway Crossing redevelopment is set to cross arenas off its list.

Engineer John Cameron said JLL would be willing to strike the two arenas from its $2.8 billion megaproject in Ronkonkoma, Newsday reported. Elected officials and Suffolk County residents opposed the venues because of traffic concerns.

Legislator Trish Bergin said lawmakers and JLL spent days in negotiations about scaling down Midway Crossing, ultimately compromising on an arena-free project. In a common refrain for people who oppose more traffic, critics had questioned the potential success of an indoor and outdoor arena, with Nassau Coliseum and the newly-minted UBS Arena already on Long Island.

An intermunicipal deal approved in December included a sports and entertainment center with a 5,000-seat outdoor stadium and 4,000-seat indoor arena. Both of those venues had already been scaled down several times. The indoor arena was initially expected to include 17,500 seats so it could lure an NHL team. Now, it appears there will be no arenas at all.

The Suffolk County Legislature committee unanimously passed two additional resolutions on Friday. One formally named JLL the master developer of the project, while the other formed a local development corporation to help raise financing.

The full legislature will vote Wednesday on those two measures.

The redevelopment project, at the site of the MacArthur Airport, has been in the works for several years. It will span 3.1 million square feet and take about 15 years to build.

Plans include a new terminal on the northern portion of the airport, a 190,000-square-foot convention center and 300-key hotel. There will also be an office complex with a life sciences center.

JLL was tapped to lead the project in 2018. Last year, Islip Town officially named the Chicago-based firm as the master developer of the airport project, but the rest of the project remained without an official lead.


Fairfield buys Huntington mixed-use property for $15.875M

Fairfield Properties has added a mixed-use property in Huntington to its growing portfolio. 

The Melville-based landlord purchased a mixed-use building that has 20 apartments and 9,100 square feet of retail on .85 acres at 2 Union Place and 269 New York Ave. for $15.875 million. 

The fully occupied, three-story residential building at 2 Union Place has 18 two-bedroom and 2 one-bedroom apartments with average monthly rents of around $4,000. The 5,000-square-foot restaurant space on New York Avenue is leased to long-time tenant Albert’s Mandarin Gourmet. An F-45 Training studio and a medical equipment business occupy the other two retail spaces located on the ground floor of the apartments. 

Mark Walsh of Select Real Equity Advisors represented the buyer, while his Select Real Equity Advisors partner John Thomas represented the seller, 255 Hookshank LLC, in the sales transaction. 

“This was a very unique opportunity for the buyer to acquire a new luxury rental building in the heart of Huntington Village,” Walsh said. 


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