The Real Deal New York

Jonathan Rose inks contract for Brooklyn Heights building

Development firm acquired rights to buy 181 Montague Street from L.I.-based Treeline Companies

October 08, 2014 06:00PM
By Adam Pincus

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From left: Jonathan Rose, 181 Montague Street and 140 Pierrepont Street

Midtown-based Jonathan Rose Companies signed an agreement to buy a bank building that sits on a large parcel just outside the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.

The development and investment firm led by Jonathan Rose acquired the rights to buy the parcel at 181 Montague Street, a 31,059-square-foot building located between Clinton Street and Camden Plaza West, on August 12, and recorded that in a memorandum of contract with the city last week.

Rose obtained the rights from Garden City, L.I.-based Treeline Companies, which signed the original contract to buy the building in July, according to city records. Treeline also owns 189 Montague, two doors down, which is a 75,000-square-foot office building with an additional 25,000 square feet of development rights.

The retail-focused Madison Capital purchased 181 Montague on December 13, 2012, in a joint venture with Prudential Insurance, for $18.3 million, CoStar Group and city records show. Citibank occupies the retail and office space in the building through a lease that runs through 2022 and has options for another 30 years, property records show. The property goes through to Pierrepont Street, with the address 140 Pierrepont.

When Madison Capital and Prudential bought the property, the pair viewed it as a development deal that would leave half of the building facing Montague intact. But the duo envisioned redeveloping the Pierrepont side, said a broker who was involved in that sale.

Jonathan Rose and Prudential did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Joseph Jacobson at Madison Capital declined to comment. It is not known what Rose intends to build, but name of the company he created to own the parcel —  Montague Pierrepont Apartments — indicates it will be a residential building.

“There is tremendous demand for residential in that area, and all around Downtown Brooklyn,” Hymie Dweck, a managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank said. He was involved in the 2012 sale.

181 Montague, which is not landmarked, is adjacent to the landmarked Brooklyn Trust Company Building at 177 Montague, now occupied by a Chase Bank retail branch. A plan was floated in 2012 to convert 177 Montague to residential condominiums, and the Department of Buildings granted permits in 2013, DOB records show.

In addition, several commercial brokers said Treeline was not renewing leases at 189 Montague, with the intent to redevelop the building for a residential use.

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