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A blog for breaking sales and neighborhood real estate news.

Built in 1932 in the Art Deco style, 170 Grand Street is a (6) story, (64) unit, elevator brick, building located on the west side of Grand Street between E Post Road and Quarropas Street. The property, located in the heart of downtown White Plains, has a total of (64) units consisting of (62) apartments and (2) professional commercial units in addition to a new income producing laundry room. The residential unit breakdown consists of (52) Studio units and (10) 1-Bedroom units of which (60) are RS, (1) is RC and (1) is FM.

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Neighborhoods: Westchester County

An elevator apartment building at 147 East 30th Street, located between Lexington and Third Avenues in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood, was sold in an all cash transaction valued at $4,511,000.

The five-story building is approximately 10,070 square feet and sits on a 27’ x 99’ lot.  The building consists of twenty residential units, of which, ten are rent stabilized. The building has four apartments per floor and is comprised of five studios units, ten one-bedroom units and five two-bedroom units.  The sale price equates to approximately $448 per square foot, a 4.5% cap rate or 13x gross rent multiple.

 “This transaction is an excellent indication that there are active buyers pursuing stabilized assets and plenty of money is readily available, with the purchaser obtaining a 75% loan-to-value ratio for financing at closing,” said Massey Knakal Vice Chairman John F. Ciraulo who exclusively handled this transaction with Chairman Robert A. Knakal, Sales Team Manager Jonathan Hageman and Director of Sales Michael Azarian.

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Neighborhoods: Murray Hill/ Agents: John Ciraulo

When a lender first called me about a mostly vacant 41,000 SF REO industrial building in Rockville Centre, I thought the sale would be pretty straight forward. At an asking price of $1,500,000, it seemed like a bargain at around $35/SF.  The property is ideally located near the LIRR in a town which has one of the top 50 public schools in the nation, according to Newsweek.

The challenge, I soon found out, was the lack of parking and the real estate taxes.  It drastically impacted the interest. Most buyers said they would never have enough parking to convert the property to a higher and better use. Those who could overlook the lack of parking were deterred by the $133,000  annual real estate taxes which included $100,000 for School Tax, $13,000 for General Tax, and $20,000 for the Village Tax...

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The subject properties consist of four adjacent lots improved with leased industrial buildings. All of the leases are subject to a termination clause positioning this site as an ideal development opportunity. The assemblage is located within the Large-Scale Plan (Subdistrict A4) of the Special Hudson Yards Zoning District. Sites within this area are zoned for dense commercial and limited residential uses. Flexible height and setback requirements accommodate large floor-plate office buildings and allow for creative design. According to the revised zoning text, development incentives for this area include the potential to purchase up to 8.0x FAR from the City’s District Improvement Fund or from private property owners within Phase II Area. Additionally, 3.6x FAR may be purchased through the Eastern Rail Yards transfer program in private market transactions with the controller of the ERY site.

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Neighborhoods: Hudson Yards

It used to be the dream of aspiring investors to buy a 2-4 family. They would live in one of the units and rent the remaining units to cover the expenses and live rent free.

In Manhattan, that window of opportunity has shut as the highest and best use for a multi-family townhouse is to convert it back to a single family. We surveyed the 2-4 families which have sold this year in one of the strongest townhouse markets – Greenwich Village. We found that at least six of these sales will be converted back to single families.

It’s easy to see why. In 2011, Greenwich Village 2-4 families sold for between $1,059/SF and $2,008/SF with an average of $1,389/SF; whereas several finished single families traded at above $3,000 per square foot. There’s still a great case to be made for speculators to convert these multifamily townhouses back to their original configurations. The challenge is that the investor must come in heavy with equity, as financing for this type of product is remote.

However, the competition for investors is steep. Users have caught on to this disconnect in pricing and are actively buying these properties to convert for themselves...

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Neighborhoods: Chelsea

221 East 60th Street is a five story mixed-use building located in the heart of Midtown East’s “Decoration and Design District,” on the north side of East 60th Street between Second and Third Avenue. There is one retail tenant whose lease is month-to-month. The retail space has undergone recent renovations and is currently occupied by an art gallery. Above the retail unit, there are seven residential units, of which, five are rent stabilized. Given the prime location in the heart of the “Design District,” and the possibility of vacant possession on the ground and second floors, this is ideal for an owner/user to purchase a building for their business and residence as well.

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Neighborhoods: Upper East Side, Midtown East

A completely renovated townhouse at 211 West 22nd Street, located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, was sold in an all cash transaction valued at $3,850,000.

The five-story property is approximately 3,400 square feet and sits on a 17.17’ x 49’ lot.  The property currently contains three residential units which are configured as an owner-occupied triplex apartment and two floor-through units on the third and fourth floors. The triplex renovations include, marble bathrooms, stainless steel appliances, central air, laundry room, custom woodwork, and surround sound. The two floor-through apartments also include marble bathrooms, and A/C units. The triplex benefits from an outdoor garden while the fourth floor unit features a private roof deck. The property was purchased for a single-family conversion. The sale price equates to approximately $1,132 per square foot.

“Two townhouses have sold in the last few weeks which were the first two townhouse sales since April 2011. It is nice to see that townhouse activity in Chelsea is picking up” said Massey Knakal Director of Sales Brock Emmetsberger who exclusively handled this transaction with Partner James P. Nelson. “As in this sale, we’ve seen a trend where almost all 2-4 families sales are converted back to single family, as they are the highest and best use in this market,” added James Nelson. 

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Neighborhoods: Chelsea

An elevator loft building at 449 Washington Street, located between Watts and Debrosses Streets in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood, was sold in an all cash transaction valued at $6,900,000.

The five-story property is approximately 8,200 square feet and sits on a 25’ x 80’ lot.  The ground floor is configured as a sound stage with two half-baths and a trap door to the basement storage below with a direct line to the audio studios for sound and video recording. The second floor comprises of a conference room, hair and make-up room, server room, full bathroom, TV lounge, kitchenette and DJ platform with catwalk/balcony that overlooks the sound stage. The third floor is the administrative area with a full bathroom and six offices. The fourth floor is the Walters-Storyk designed audio command center. The fifth floor features full-floor residence with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a washer and dryer, private keyed elevator and an outdoor space with a hot tub. The sale price equates to $840 per square foot.

“In October of last year, City Planning rezoned the surrounding area to C6-2A, giving it full residential use. Shortly after the change, we received multiple bids in the high $6 million range,” said Massey Knakal Partner James P. Nelson who exclusively represented the seller in this transaction with Massey Knakal Director of Sales Nick Petkoff.  Christopher Johnson, formerly of Sinvin, served as an advisor to the seller.

A residential condo converter purchased the property and will convert the building into luxury residential condominiums. Douglas Elliman represented the buyer.

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Neighborhoods: TriBeCa

Located on Leonard Street between Hudson Street and West Broadway, this 100’ wide, 4 story parking garage has about 37,936 buildable square feet. The property benefits from soaring ceiling heights, which reach about 15' to the beams and about 16' slab to slab. The site would serve as an ideal mixed-use development opportunity in one of the most desirable locations within TriBeCa.

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Neighborhoods: TriBeCa

A single family townhouse at 113 East 61st Street, located between Park and Lexington on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, was sold in an all cash transaction valued at $8,300,000.

The six-story property is approximately 5,700 square feet and sits on a 19’ x 100.42’ lot.  The home features beautiful architectural detail throughout. There are eight wood burning fireplaces, a 50 foot rear garden and an elevator that provides access from the first to the fifth floor. This property is located on a beautiful tree-lined street just two blocks from Central Park and is in close proximity to some of the best restaurants, schools and cultural attractions that Manhattan has to offer. The sale price equates to $1,456.14per square foot.

“This property was bank-owned after a foreclosure and was last used as an office for a hedge fund,” said Massey Knakal First Vice President of Sales Guthrie Garvin who exclusively handled this transaction with Chairman Robert A. Knakal. “The new plan is to convert it back into a single family townhouse,” added Garvin.

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Neighborhoods: Upper East Side

This Boerum Hill space has 3500 sf.  Located on the corner of the Fulton Street Mall, it is across from the new Shake Shack.

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Neighborhoods: Boerum Hill

49.17' wide, 6 story, approximately 15,000 square foot walk-up apartment building. The building consists of 29 units (of which 20 are one-bedrooms 8 are two-bedrooms, and 1 is a three-bedroom) plus a super’s unit in the basement. The average residential rents are $1,561/month or $44/nsf, which is substantially under market by 50%. The building has 5 rent stabilized units, 5 rent controlled units,18 free market units, and 1 vacant unit. The building also has 2 small retail spaces. This is an excellent opportunity for an investor who is looking for strong-in place cash flow with long-term upside in the below market rents.

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Neighborhoods: Greenwich Village

When I started in this business in the late 1990s, I witnessed first hand the impact that a rezoning could have on an area. Back then flee markets and parking lots lined Sixth Avenue north of 23rd Street. It was zoned for manufacturing use, so building ground up was not economically viable.

In an effort to stimulate the area, City Planning rezoned these blocks in 1999 to C6-4X, which allowed for high density residential. Shortly thereafter, several thirty story towers seemed to go up overnight, completely transforming the area. Without question, the land values more than doubled as a result. Owners of smaller properties on the side streets also benefited, as new retail and residential brought life to the area.

Today, property values are still greatly impacted by zoning changes. Nick Petkoff and I recently sold 449 Washington Street in TriBeCa with the help of Douglas Elliman, who represented the buyer. The property is a 25’ wide loft building with a curb cut, a recording studio, and a caretaker’s unit. Under the previous M1 zoning, only a small apartment was allowed for the owner’s use....

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Neighborhoods: TriBeCa

4-story, 50’X 100’ Column Free building.  22’Ceilings throughout;

Ground Floor- 5,000 sf
Lower Level- 5,000 sf
Second Floor- 5,000 sf
Third Floor- 5,000 sf
FourthFloor- 5,000 sf
Total- 25,000 sf

Will design to suit

Oversized elevator and plenty of amperage

Perfect for: retail, showroom, office, rehearsal space, film/music studio

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Neighborhoods: Chelsea/ Agents: Benjamin Fox

A development site at 219 Jay Street, located on the northeast corner of Jay and Chapel Streets in Downtown Brooklyn, was sold in an all cash transaction valued at $2,300,000.

The corner property, comprised of a three and four story vacant former dormitory building, sits on a 49 x 100 lot.  Located within a C6-2 zone the property has approximately 30,000 buildable square feet available. The sale price equates to approximately $78 per buildable square foot.

“Demand for development sites is being fueled by peaking rental rates, coupled with the nearly complete absorption of new construction rental product in DoBro,” said Massey Knakal Director of Sales Stephen Palmese who exclusively handled this transaction

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Neighborhoods: Downtown Brooklyn/ Agents: Stephen Palmese

Both properties are 6 story, Class C, historic office buildings built in the Beaux-Arts style and display characteristic neo-classical arched windows and colossal granite block pilasters. 126 Market Street, originally the Silk City Trust Company building, was built in 1905. 140 Market Street, historically the Citizen’s Trust Company building, was erected in 1903. Both structures are architectural gems in downtown Paterson.

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Neighborhoods: Passaic County

Two adjacent buildings at 506 & 510 West 150th Street, located between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue in Washington Heights, was sold in an all cash transaction valued at $6,350,000.

506 & 510 West 150th Street are two adjacent 50’ wide walkup apartment buildings, containing a total of 61 residential units (including 1 supers unit). The properties boast 100’of combined frontage on the south side of West 150th Street. Specifically, the 150th Street block is considered extremely desirable because of the high potency of renovated one, two, and three family homes. These properties have both been very well maintained and 37 of the 61 units have been recently renovated.

“Multifamily residential properties such as these two assets continue to remain in extraordinary demand.  Investors are continuing to seek out properties with significant upside potential while the ability to achieve low interest rate financing is plentiful” said Massey Knakal First Vice President of Sales Robert Shapiro who exclusively handled this transaction.

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Neighborhoods: Washington Heights/ Agents: Robert Shapiro

For Lease: Approx. 1,000 SF retail space, 15' ceiling heights, 25' frontage.  Immediate possession.  Prime location in Financial District near South Street Seaport.

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Neighborhoods: Financial District

Harlem retail is bustling once again. Investors are taking notice and buying up the remaining storefronts which are still occupied by legacy tenants. These mom and pop stores have been taken over by such national tenants as American Apparel, Duane Reade, Foot Locker, Mac Cosmetics, Marshalls, Old Navy, Staples, and Starbucks.

One recent sale which benefited from this activity was 64-68 West 125th Street, located between Lenox and Fifth Avenues. Our firm sold the property in an all cash transaction valued at $7,100,000 or approximately $938 per square foot.

The single story property is 75 feet wide with approximately 7,569 square feet.  There are three retail units with short terms leases at substantially below market rents in the $40/SF range. The mid blocks on 125th Street command rents upwards of $100/SF.

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Neighborhoods: Harlem

Building is located directly across from Luthuran Medical Center, 1 block from the Interstate 278 and 5 blocks from the "N & R" trains at 59th Street Station (Express Stop) & 2 blocks from Brooklyn Army Terminal.  Certificate of Occupancy currently allows the garage to operate as auto body shop.  Building benefits from 24 hour emergency room across at Luthuran Medical Center generating major business for retail tenant and is convenient for hospital residency.

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Neighborhoods: Sunset Park

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