The Reel

Follow us:

A blog for breaking sales and neighborhood real estate news.

Masey Knakal's David Simon will take part in the Transactions: Getting the Deal Done panel at the 13th annual RealShare New Jersey event held on September 11th.

Click here for event information

Massey Knakal's Jill Lovatt was recently recognized as one of Real Estate Forum's Women of Influence.

Click here to view article

Agents: Jill Lovatt

Massey Knakal Realty Services has arranged the sale and financing of a portfolio of residential condominium units within The Corinthian building at 645 First Avenue, located on the west side of First Avenue between East 37th Street and East 38th Street in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood.  The units were sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $147 million.  Acquisition and construction financing with a commitment amount of $125 million was arranged by Massey Knakal Capital Services, with an initial funding of $115 million.

The portfolio consists of 144 residential condominium units within a 57-story building, with an aggregate unit size of approximately 150,747 square feet. The units are spread throughout the building and consist of nine studios, 91 one-bedrooms, 30 two-bedrooms, and 14 three-bedrooms. Of these 144 condominium units, 90 have been renovated over the last few years. The transaction was handled exclusively by Chairman Bob Knakal and Vice Chairman John Ciraulo. The sale price equates to approximately $975 per square foot.

“Within the multifamily sector today, sales are often impacted by a condominium conversion exit strategy. This asset was already teed up as a condo allowing for a very flexible operating strategy as a rental block, selling units or a combination of both,” stated Mr. Knakal. “This burgeoning sub-market continues to improve and is ready to explode,” added Mr. Ciraulo.

Massey Knakal Capital Services secured the financing, arranging the $125 million financing commitment used to acquire and renovate the units.  “Our team worked closely with the borrower to identify the optimal debt capital source, negotiate the deal terms, coordinate third parties, and assist in the closing process. In order to achieve a short closing time period, our team was mandated to find a single lender that would underwrite the full loan amount,” said Massey Knakal’s Scott Aiese, who exclusively handled the financing.  

“I have to thank Bob, Scott, and the whole MK team for doing an outstanding job making the sale and the financing come together on this transaction,” stated Danny Fishman, Managing Partner of Gaia which was the purchaser.

This transaction completes a hat trick for Massey Knakal relative to the Corinthian. In October of 2009, Messers Knakal and Ciraulo sold the garage component of the property for $10.25 million to Alliance Parking and in June of 2011 the duo sold the 81,000 square foot medical condominium for $31 million to ProMed.

The Corinthian is one of the most spectacular residential development projects the city has ever seen, and features breathtaking 280 degree city and East River views from most of the units. It was crowned New York City’s largest apartment building at its completion in 1987 and contains over 850 condominiums. The Corinthian’s iconic curvilinear architecture was designed by renowned architect Der Scutt in the late 1980s, and is still considered an iconic part of the city skyline today. Located within the Murray Hill neighborhood, it benefits from convenient access to major employment centers in Midtown and its connectivity to the rest of New York City will improve upon the completion of the Second Avenue Subway.

The Corinthian was developed by the Spitzer family in the mid-1980s and was the largest single apartment building in the city at the time, containing 850 apartments. "The Massey Knakal team, led by Bob Knakal, was superb throughout the multiple transactions they handled for us at the Corinthian. They delivered the best price, consummate discretion and a complete understanding of our strategic objectives," stated Eliot Spitzer who guided the sales process on behalf of his family.

Click here for press release

Neighborhoods: Murray Hill/ Agents: John Ciraulo

A development site at 225 Pennsylvania Avenue, located on the corner of Pitkin and Pennsylvania Avenues in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood, was sold in a transaction valued at $5,000,000.

The site contains approximately 47, 250 square feet on a 250’ x 220’ irregular lot. It resides in a residential zone (R5) and commercial (C8-2) zone and is just one block south of the C train at Liberty Avenue Subway Station. The site holds approximately 87,000 buildable square feet with the sale price equating to approximately $57 per buildable square foot.

"This property was delivered vacant and sold to a user who is planning on developing the property for storage use,” said Massey Knakal’s Edward Gevinski, who exclusively handled this transaction.

Click here for press release

Neighborhoods: East New York

Massey Knakal Is Hiring

8/25/2014 3:34:40 PM/ Massey Knakal/ News

Massey Knakal's sophisticated training programs and rigorous certification board are peerless among realty services firms, ensuring that our agents are the most disciplined, skilled and talented in the industry. Creating the best work environment is something we strive for on a daily basis, and intelligence, integrity, professionalism and passion are the keys to maintaining it. Talented individuals are valued at Massey Knakal.

Click here to browse available positions

Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell a conversion opportunity at 815 Broadway. The property is located on the corner of Broadway and Ellery Street in Brooklyn’s North Bushwick neighborhood, features 200 lineal feet of street frontage, and is a short two blocks from the J and M subway lines at the Flushing Avenue station. Ownership is requesting proposals.
The property consists of a six-story, masonry, commercial building constructed circa 1927.  It contains approximately 52,500 gross square feet including a full basement and a partial sub-basement.  The offering also includes an approximately 2,521 square foot vacant lot immediately north of the building.  In addition, the property benefits from approximately 7,300 square feet of additional zoning floor area from a neighboring property as well as all necessary light and air easements.  The adjacent lot and additional zoning floor area provide the opportunity for an extra 15,871 buildable square feet for commercial development and 13,426 buildable square feet for residential development.
Full construction plans have been developed to convert this commercial building into a 40-unit residential building on top of ground floor commercial space.  The existing building has several physical features that make it an attractive conversion opportunity, including a highly decorative masonry façade with many architectural limestone details.  It also benefits from generous floor to ceiling heights and large window openings to take advantage of the abundance of natural light on this corner property.
“Complete with distinctive architectural details, 815 Broadway presents the unique opportunity to convert a 52,500 square foot building into residential apartments with ground floor retail in a highly trafficked area,” said Massey Knakal’s Stephen P. Palmese, who is exclusively marketing this property with Michael Amirkhanian. “This corner property is the focal point of one of the fastest growing retail corridors in North Brooklyn, where the exciting transformation happening across Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant all come together.  New residents swarming to the area not only get to enjoy access to all these neighborhoods have to offer, but also take advantage of easy city bound train proximity, with Manhattan only four stops away,” said Amirkhanian.

Click here for listing details

Neighborhoods: Bushwick/ Agents: Stephen Palmese

Massey Knakal Retail Leasing Services has secured a retail lease for 14 East 34th Street, located between Fifth and Madison Avenues in Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood. The space will be occupied by Xi'an Famous Foods, an expanding fast-casual, regional specialties Chinese restaurant.

The space contains approximately 1,600 square feet on the ground floor, with an additional 500 square feet of mezzanine office space and 400 square feet of basement storage space. The space is fully-vented with highly visible frontage on one of Manhattan’s busiest retail corridors, less than one block from the Empire State Building.

This space is located near multiple new developments, adding to the area’s growing retail demand.  It is also in close proximity to the 6, B, D, F, M, 1, 2, and 3 subway lines, NJ Path and M34 cross-town bus. Neighboring retailers include Guy & Gallard, Dunkin Donuts, Restoration Hardware, Dormus Design Collection, Heartland Brewery, Duane Reade, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, Chase Bank, and several health club chains.

“The landlord is very happy with this new tenant who will be a perfect fit for the neighborhood demand,” said Massey Knakal’s Michael A. Azarian, who exclusively represented the landlord in this transaction. 

Click here for press release

Neighborhoods: Midtown East

Massey Knakal Realty Services is pleased to announce the release of their exclusive First Half 2014 Property Sales Reports. These unique, industry-leading, reports provide a comprehensive study of the investment sales market by product type in the entire New York City area (Manhattan, Northern Manhattan/Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens).

“Market conditions in the sales market are about as good as they could be today. Values continue to rise which is causing more product to come to market. Demand is so excessive that this extra supply is getting easily absorbed. Consequently, we expect record volume levels this year both in terms of dollar volume and number of properties sold,” stated Bob Knakal, Massey Knakal Chairman.

Click here to read press release

Stephen P. Palmese Funnel TV Exclusive Interview

8/20/2014 10:16:17 AM/ Massey Knakal/ News

Stephen P. Palmese recently sat down with The News Funnel to talk about his road from Intern to Partner at Massey Knakal as well as the Brooklyn market.

Click here to see the interview

Agents: Stephen Palmese

Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell a retail property at 3002 Mermaid Avenue. The property occupies the entire blockfront between West 30th and West 31st Streets in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood. The asking price is $13,900,000.

The property contains approximately 23,681 square feet and sits on a 237.62’ x 150’ lot, benefiting from approximately 237’ of frontage on Mermaid Avenue. Anchored by Citibank, the highly visible property is fully leased with triple-net tenants.  It stands to capitalize from the Coney Island Rezoning Plan, which was approved in July 2009 to usher in wide spread improvements throughout the area.

The property is located near major thoroughfares Surf Avenue, Cropsey Avenue, and the Belt Parkway.  Additionally, the D, F, N, and Q subway lines located at Stillwell Avenue are in close proximity and multiple bus lines service the area.

"There is a lot of excitement in the Coney Island neighborhood right now,” said Massey Knakal’s Alex Svetlakov, who is exclusively marketing this property.  “Luna Park and other local attractions continue to thrive and many will agree that the area is on its way of becoming one of New York's must-visit locations once again,” he continued.

Click here for listing details

Neighborhoods: Coney Island

Northern New Jersey has continued its strong performance and is expected to finish 2014 at an increase of 44% in transaction volume and 17% in dollar volume from last year. Compared to 2009’s recession-driven lows, this represents a 198% increase in dollar volume and 65% increase in transactional volume. Sustained rising demand for multifamily and industrial properties has led them to account for 70% of all dollar volume in 1H14.

Pricing in the northern part of the state has reached an all-time high, averaging $175 per square foot after the first two quarters, 68% greater than 2013’s average. Retail pricing reached an even higher ceiling, to $272 per square foot, 50% higher than the 10-year average. Cap rates have nudged up 30 bps, to 7%, in 1H14.

A mixed-use building at 737 West End Avenue, located on the corner of West End Avenue and West 96th Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $7,550,000. 

The five-story building contains approximately 11,005 square feet on a 25.16’ x 100’ irregular lot and has been owned and operated by the same family for multiple. It consists of two retail units as well as nine large apartments of which two are vacant, five are rent stabilized, and two are rent controlled. All of the apartments are sub-metered for gas and electric and receive a tremendous amount of light due to the property’s corner locale and southern exposure. The sale price equates to approximately $686 per square foot and nearly a nil cap rate due to the constrained cash flow.

The property’s location allows for convenient access to Riverside Park, the Broadway retail corridor, and excellent transportation to all points in the city. The 96th Street 1-2-3 subway station, the West Side Highway and access to the east side via 97th Street are all in close proximity.

“737 West End Avenue’s corner locale and retail presence offered an opportunity rarely seen on the Upper West Side. As such, investors were willing to forgo immediate cash flow in exchange for long-term value,” said Massey Knakal’s Hall Oster, who exclusively handled this transaction.

Click here for press release

Neighborhoods: Upper West Side

Massey Knakal Realty Services is pleased to announce that Stephen P. Palmese has been promoted to Partner at the firm. Stephen began his career at Massey Knakal ten years ago as an Intern and worked his way up to Associate, then Agent, and now Partner.  He is one of the firm’s leading sales agents having sold over 200 properties with an aggregate consideration of over $1 billion. Since 2012, he has completed 70 transactions with an aggregate value of over $625 million.
“Stephen has been instrumental in helping Massey Knakal dominate the Brooklyn market and, just like our Partner Bob Knakal, he has influenced the metro-area. Stephen's values and competitive spirit are perfectly aligned with Massey Knakal's focus on passion, integrity, excellence and responsibility,” said CEO Paul J. Massey, Jr.

“Stephen is a shining example of what is possible when someone is bright, personable and works their tail off every day to become better than they were the day before. Stephen’s promotion is richly deserved and I am proud to be his partner,” said Chairman Bob Knakal.

Click here to read press release

Check out photos below from our event celebrating Stephen's achievement

Photo 1: Paul J. Massey Jr. and Stephen P. Palmese
Photo 2: Massey Knakal employees celebrating Stephen P. Palmese
Photo 3: Team Palmese – Michael Mazzara, Stephen P. Palmese, Thomas Freeland, James Berluti

Agents: Stephen Palmese

By: Andrew Posil and Will Suarez

At the recent Massey Knakal CRE Summit, Larry Silverstein delivered a rousing keynote address outlining his company’s extensive development activities in Lower Manhattan. He enthusiastically described his firm’s remarkable World Trade Center buildings as well as its residential, retail, and hotel projects which are reinventing Lower Manhattan. No longer is Lower Manhattan merely a place where people show up to work. Rather the area is quickly becoming a seven day a week destination for all: business people, leisure travelers, and residents.  Given the tremendous momentum that Lower Manhattan’s real estate projects are gaining, Mr. Silverstein’s enthusiasm is well founded. With over $30 billion in combined private and public investment in Lower Manhattan over the last 10 years, Silverstein Properties, and many other notable New York developers, have been compelled to spend much of their time, energy, and resources there.  Given the amenities which the influx of development activity has produced, an increasing number of future visitors to the City will likely feel the same way. With Lower Manhattan’s vibrant new atmosphere, improved access and upgraded attractions, this burgeoning hotel market is poised for more growth and prosperity.

Click here to read full article

Neighborhoods: Financial District/ Agents: Guillermo Suarez

Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell a residential development site at 167-171 4th Avenue. The site is located on the corner of 4th Ave and Degraw Street in the heart of Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. The asking price is $6,500,000.

The site features over 100’ of wrap around frontage between 4th Avenue and Degraw Street. Under the current zoning C2-4/R8A, a developer could build approximately 19,200 square feet as-of-right. There is an Inclusionary Housing bonus, which would allow the site to mass approximately 23,000 square feet.

The site is located in the highly desirable Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, known for its excellent schools, parks, shops and top rated restaurants. The property is within walking distance of the Barclays Center as well as Atlantic Terminal, which offers service to ten subway lines.

“Located on the corner of DeGraw Street, this site is a fantastic boutique, condo opportunity, and we suspect that a high-end project here will break future condo pricing records,” said Massey Knakal’s Stephen P. Palmese, who is exclusively marketing this site with Winfield Clifford.  “This development site is well-positioned in Park Slope, offering multiple transportation options, proximity to local retailers along 5th Avenue, and a variety of entertainment options from the Barclays Center to Brooklyn Boulders,” said Clifford.

Click here for listing details

Neighborhoods: Park Slope/ Agents: Stephen Palmese, Winfield Clifford

By: Brendan Gotch

Recent data released by Massey Knakal reveals a surging market in the retail sector of the East Village. The report shows a closing gap between the neighborhoods of the East Village and its more traditionally affluent counterpart the West Village. Asking rents per square foot for the West Village have historically been higher than those of the East Village, however, over the last two years asking rents for the East Village have increased from 71% of those in the West Village in the first half of 2012, to 84% in the first half of 2014. Looking at the data from a growth perspective reveals that the East Village’s asking rates have increased about 14% over the same period. A remarkable progression over a two-year span that indicates the East Village renaissance is well underway.

One of the drivers of this change is the emerging presence of a robust office market of Astor Place. This market includes the new building at 51 Astor Place by Minskoff Equities, which has brought the office space in the immediate vicinity to nearly 1.5 million square feet. This market has attracted a notable tenant list that already includes Facebook, IBM, J. Crew and 1st Dibs.

Click here to read full article

Neighborhoods: East Village

A mixed-use building at 304-306 Canal Street (aka 57-59 Lispenard Street), running block-through from Canal Street to Lispenard Street between Broadway and Church Street in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood, was sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $16,400,000.

The five-story elevator-serviced building contains approximately 11,850 above grade square feet, with an additional 700 square feet on the mezzanine level and 2,370 square feet below grade.  It features approximately 37 feet of frontage along both Canal and Lispenard Streets and delivers additional air rights.  The sale price equates to approximately $1,384 per square foot.

Due to the sizable floor plates and phenomenal location for retail and residential, the building offers a great opportunity for a developer, investor, and/or user.  Situated at the epicenter of the downtown subway stops that service tourists, office workers and a growing residential population, this is also a premier retail opportunity on the busiest crosstown street in downtown Manhattan.

“Centrally located where SoHo and TriBeCa intersect, this distinctive building will undoubtedly play an important role in the exciting transformation that Canal Street’s been undergoing for several years now,” said Massey Knakal’s Will Suarez, who exclusively handled this transaction.  “The changes happening on Canal Street are perfectly consistent with the broader Lower Manhattan transition from a 9-to-5 Monday-through-Friday workplace into a genuine 24/7 neighborhood where people live, work, study, visit, and play. The growing residential population, evolving nature of businesses moving downtown and of course the boom in tourism is having the expected result; developments that meet the needs of downtown New York for the 21st Century,” he added.

Click here for press release

Neighborhoods: TriBeCa/ Agents: Guillermo Suarez

According to Massey Knakal Research, the Bronx experienced a very strong start to the year with 341 properties sold in 1H14, an increase of 27% from the second half of 2013 and the strongest bi-annual result since 1H07.  During the first half of 2014, 44 multi-property transactions were closed, which is just below 2013’s annual total of 56.  Portfolios played a major role in the Bronx’s investment activity in 1H14.

In pricing terms, the Bronx has not experienced dramatic changes compared to 2013.  The average price per square foot was up slightly, by $2, or 1.6%, to $161.  Mixed-use and elevator buildings were largely responsible for the uptick.  Cap rates have fallen by about 10 bps compared to last year’s average.  At 7.2%, the Bronx still has the highest average cap rate of the outer markets.

Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell a mixed-use building at 164 East 61st Street. The property is located between Lexington and Third Avenues in Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood.  The asking price is $10,995,000.

The five-story building contains approximately 5,800 square feet and sits on a 20’ x 100.42’ lot.  It consists of a medical space on the ground floor with four full-floor apartments above.  The building underwent a full renovation recently which transformed the property into an ultra-high-end townhouse rental building.  Each unit was designed, renovated, and decorated with thought and luxurious materials, creating the ideal live-work or live-invest opportunity.  Each residential unit is an approximately 1,000-square foot floor-through apartment which boasts high ceilings, oversized windows, and personal washers and dryers.  In addition, the units feature skylights, fireplaces, outdoor space, bay windows and other unique features.  

The medical office space on the ground floor features five exam rooms, a reception and waiting area, and two restrooms.  It was recently renovated as well with high-end finishes and approximately ten-foot high ceilings.

This property is being marketed exclusively by Massey Knakal’s Clint B. Olsen.

Click here for listing details

Neighborhoods: Upper East Side

By: Guthrie Garvin, Massey Knakal Realty Services

Bound on the west by Central Park and on the east by the East River, the Upper East Side has traditionally fallen between 59th Street on the south and 96th Street on the north. While the core of the market was once the narrow sliver located to the west of Third Avenue, the Upper East Side’s high property values have been gradually expanding eastwards towards the river, with higher prices becoming the norm.  Given the perceived stability of the Upper East Side, one might assume investors to expect limited price-appreciation. However, in some metrics, the Upper East Side has outpaced the overall Manhattan market over the past five years.

For the period from 2009 through the first quarter of 2014, Manhattan saw almost $110 billion in sales activity (excluding residential condos and co-ops), approximately 4.1 percent of which came from the Upper East Side.  Sales on the Upper East Side are distributed much differently than in the rest of the Manhattan.  1-4 family property sales are much more prevalent there than anywhere else in Manhattan and accounted for 37 percent of 1-4 family dollar volume sold.  Additionally, the low turnover rate on investment grade product on the Upper East Side has led to pent up demand and an increase in pricing for these highly sought after asset classes - over the last five years the average price per transaction on the Upper East Side was $23.5 million consisting of 192 transactions (218 buildings). Thus far in 2014, the average price per transaction on the Upper East Side is up 21 percent over its five year average equating to $28.4 million per transaction with 12 transactions closed.  

Click here to read full article

Neighborhoods: Upper East Side

Prev      Next