South Brooklyn’s waterfront neighborhoods have long fostered considerable charm and affluence despite being overshadowed by the explosion of “brownstone Brooklyn,” Williamsburg and Bushwick.
A few isolated incidents—take the 2011 Brighton Beach boardwalk shooting—and Superstorm Sandy didn’t help with image improvement, but recent developments point to South Brooklyn’s waterfront communities as the next Kings County neighborhoods to catch fire.
The real estate industry sat wide-eyed in anticipation of the ruling by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in November that officially named 1 World Trade Center the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, beating out Chicago’s Willis Tower.
But in the not too distant future the gleaming new tower could have competition in its own backyard – Hudson Yards, that is – as Massey Knakal is exclusively marketing the sale of a development site that it believes could spawn what the firm has dubbed “The Hudson Spire,” an 1,800-foot-tall super-skyscraper.
Since its rezoning in 2003, Fourth Avenue in Park Slope has seen a few new apartment buildings go up, but developers only got a few years in before the financial crisis put a freeze on new construction along the avenue, leaving it in its current half-industrial, half-luxury residential state.
But as Brooklyn’s housing market heats back up, landowners are putting development sites back on the market, and builders are crawling over each other to get a piece of the action.
A site marketed by TerraCRG, 275 Fourth Avenue, currently occupied by a suburban-style McDonald’s at First Street, just sold for $14.8 million, Ofer Cohen told The Observer—well above the $12 million that the seller was asking for the land.
A self-described car guy, Woody Heller, executive managing director and head of the Capital Transactions Group at Studley, sees parallels between automobiles as hard assets and commercial real estate investment sales velocity in New York. Apart from the obvious luxury to be found in cars and Class A buildings alike—his 33-million-square-foot transaction volume likely doesn’t include a jalopy—both markets have also lately been bolstered by similar factors.
“With debt available and with interest rates so incredibly low, it encourages one to buy because money is so cheap,” he said. “If the asset class is in favor compared with what much of the alternatives are—if borrowing costs are incredibly low—it continues to steer people to want to invest in hard assets like real estate.”
Robert Knakal has long had a simple philosophy about selling real estate.
The way he sees it, there are approximately a million buildings in the city, and the broker that gets to sell any one among the multitude that will hit the auctioning block at a given moment is, sometimes, simply the person who happens to pitch their services to the right seller at the right time.
Joe Chetrit is leading a partnership of investors in the acquisition of 77 Commercial Street, a development parcel in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that can accommodate about 270,000 square feet of residential development.
It’s not clear what Mr. Chetrit has negotiated to pay in the deal, but the property was being marketed by a Massey Knakal team led by the company’s chairman, Robert Knakal, that sources said was aiming to net a purchase price in the high $20 millions.
640 Broadway has sold for $32.5 million.
According to Bob Knakal, chairman of the brokerage company Massey Knakal who handled the sale with colleague James Nelson, the roughly 63,000 square foot Soho building was purchased by a first time Manhattan buyer in partnership with an institutional investor. Mr. Knakal, a prolific broker of commercial and multifamily buildings in the city, said he could not disclose the identity of the joint venture because they were his clients and asked him to remain anonymous.
Eastern Consolidated has promoted Lipa Lieberman and Aliza Avital, both former directors turned senior directors whom the firm’s president, Daun Paris, described in a press release last week as talented dealmakers and rising stars at the company.
When Meridiana, a fixture on the Upper West Side, shuttered after nearly two decades, Massey Knakal broker David Chkheidze exposed the Broadway storefront to what rapidly grew into a formidable crowd of more than a hundred would-be retail tenants, despite what he candidly described as a space in disrepair. After tours from both local and Read More
Speeches were casually ignored, drinks were spilled and bonds were formed at last Thursday’s 116th annual Real Estate Board of New York Gala, which this year drew an estimated 2,000 brokers, owners, advertising buyers and real estate reporters to the New York Hilton for an evening of conviviality, honorifics and hushed deal making. Among the fray was Commercial Observer staff writer Daniel Geiger, who during the course of the evening saw his stenopad tossed by an irate real estate broker and who unabashedly accosted Studley’s Woody Heller in the hotel’s bathroom, all for the sake of the story. Below, a timeline of gala comings and goings, from the innocuous gossip down to the downright obnoxious.