The Real Deal New York

Chetrit Group going full tilt on the Bronx

$26M purchase of 1.5-acre site could lead to as many as six resi towers in Port Morris

January 14, 2015 01:28PM
By Mark Maurer

bronx

From left: 2401 Third Avenue in the Bronx, Keith Rubenstein, Joseph Chetrit and Douglas Harmon

The Chetrit Group and Somerset Partners are days away from closing on a 1.5-acre waterfront site in the Bronx for $26 million as part of an enormous residential development, The Real Deal has learned.

The site at 2401 Third Avenue, located in a one-time piano-manufacturing district in the South Bronx neighborhood Port Morris, offers 450,000 buildable square feet. For decades, Richard Mugler Construction Company has owned the land, which now houses a one-story warehouse. The deal is slated to close this week.

Just two months ago, Chetrit and Somerset picked up an adjacent block-long lot at 101 Lincoln Avenue offering 800,000 buildable square feet from crane company Gerosa, as TRD reported. Combined, the deals give the developers the chance to build a project of more than 1.2 million square feet.

Although no plans have been filed with the city yet, the buyers plan to construct as many as six residential towers averaging 25 stories in height, Somerset’s Keith Rubenstein said. The first towers to be built will hold rentals, but condominiums could be in the cards for later buildings, he said.

Eastdil Secured’s Douglas Harmon, who declined to comment, is representing Chetrit and Somerset in the deal. Eastdil, which a TRD analysis found was involved in nine of the top 10 building trades of 2014, also arranged the acquisition financing.

Chetrit and Somerset, a Midtown East-based investment firm, are also in talks to acquire a third nearby site, offering 300,000 buildable square feet, for the project, according to sources.

“We are looking to acquire developments in this highly underutilized section of the Bronx and redevelop industrial buildings,” Rubenstein said.

A spokesperson for Chetrit could not be reached for comment. The developer is also bringing a $1.8 billion condo project to the Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue.

  • noclist

    South Bronx heh? While it’s close to Manhattan, I’d think you still would need a swat team to protect yourself and your property.

    • BKESTHER

      The people of the Bronx are going to need a bigger swat team to keep new people from swarming the area and pricing them out of their neighborhoods.

      • noclist

        With the highest murder rate in the city from that neighborhood and projects as far as the eye can see, it will be some time before that happens.

        • jonnyboy

          the murder rate in this area of the bronx is not that much different than gentrifying or already gentrified parts of brooklyn. you should probably do some more research before you make egregious statements in public forums.

          • noclist

            My wife’s a pediatrician in that area and it is not a very safe place. Go look up worst crime neighborhoods in NYC and Point Morris is fifth on the list for overall crime. Then go ask the cops at the 40th precinct and see what they say about the murder rate in that neighborhood.

          • AnoNYC

            Most of the violent crime that occurs within the 40th precinct area is concentrated inside and immediately around NYCHA developments. Areas like the waterfront have very little crime.

          • BH

            The word is YET. In Astoria and LIC the NYCHA projects ARE near the waterfront, and that is where crime is rampant.

            Also, they have been building large projects within reasonable proximity to these and I find that should be a concern for builders, but it’s not.

          • AnoNYC

            If you consider the Queens waterfront crime ridden I will have to respectfully disagree. The NYCHA developments in Queens are incomparable to those in the South Bronx. The area remains much safer overall because the general Astoria/Long Island City neighborhoods are much more socioeconomically diverse than Mott Haven.

            At the same time, violent crime in NYC disproportionately affects particular demographics. Typically lower income, young, male, and colored. It’s tragic that this population must deal with this reality, but the risk are not the same for others.

        • AnoNYC

          Gentrification is already occurring. The area is becoming increasingly desirable.

          • noclist

            If it has to be the Bronx, I’ll stick with Riverdale.

          • John Wayne

            the proximity to Manhattan is what will make Mott haven/port Morris the very desirable neighborhood it should be. History repeats itself and if you look at the transformation of the LES and Williamburg and now Harlem,you will see a direct correlation with those areas and Mott Haven….close to city,cheap rent,warehouse style lofts for the artist community that is ALWAYS the first to move into a “depressed” area and want to renew it…..and there is already a tight artist community in the south Bronx.

            With all the development already slated to start in the area and with the economy and job and real estate markets,as well as Wall Street all doing very well,get ready for a BIG change in the south Bronx. It’s coming!!!

          • noclist

            Williamsburg and Harlem were very different and didn’t have one of the most dangerous projects in the city within a 2 block walk (138th street). I have no doubt the development will come but will the crime rate be suppressed enough to sell there? Riverdale is a 22 minute commute from grand central on the metro north and one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. Why take a chance on a potentially bad situation when your money is better spent on an already developed much safer neighborhood ? You really going to put your kids in those public schools if you move there? They may not survive a week.

          • AnoNYC

            Way different? Williamsburg had issues with violent crime prior to significant demographic shifts and East Harlem has comparable rates to Mott Haven (it’s also adjacent).

            The schools are poor, but not so much because of the violence. More so because the children begin under prepared and have excess negative social circumstances in the household.

          • realposter

            Your last sentence needs to be blasted all over the media…. The problem in schools is NOT the lack of funding.. It’s the home life!!!

          • realposter

            Williamsburg and Harlem were not dangerous???? When did you get to NYC????

        • BH

          i agree. the same thing is happening in Central Harlem right now around 125 street and outward.

    • AnoNYC

      The crime rate in the Bronx has dramatically declined over the past two decades. There is also very little violent crime in Port Morris.

      • Peter

        Manhattan is gobbled up. The next domino to fall is Brooklyn. Chetrit is going to be the first blockbuster to draw hipsters. Crime rate will fall. Only about time

        • AnoNYC

          The Bronx has been changing dramatically in a positive way for many years now. A large portion of the borough has a 30 minute or less commute to Midtown via subway. This does not count existing or soon to be constructed Metro North stations.

          • BH

            There are small tech startups in the Bronx making a big name for themselves, and finding situations where they are saving thousands of dollars on rent per annum by not staying in Manhattan, brooklyn or queens.

        • BH

          Then Queens, then the Bronx, then Staten Island. It’s the easiest and most likely transition for people to make

  • John Wayne

    This area,Mott haven/port Morris,reminds me soooo much of Williamburg in the 1990s,small but tight artist community already flourishing and plenty of warehouses and old manufacturing buildings that are being underutilized,most of which have been re-zoned for residential/commercial use (HELLO CONDO’S and luxury rentals). It’s proximity to Manhattan and lovely architecture (all those great townhouses on Alexander ave). Projects or not (LES has tons of PJs as does Harlem and look what happened there),this area is ripe for change. It’s going to happen,100% guaranteed!! Only question is how quickly??

    Bike path opening to Randall’s island in June 2015, multiple big projects in the works,go into “Charlie’s bar and kitchen” on Lincoln ave and see where this neighborhood is going!!

    • AnoNYC

      There are several market rate developments and boutique hotels under construction in the area. I think this neighborhood will transform much more quickly than the former.

      • John Wayne

        I hope so! I just bought a beautiful townhouse in the neighborhood. Looking forward to that Randall’s Island Connector.

        • realposter

          you were smart to get in early… when you retire you should make a good return if you sell.
          That Randall’s Island Connector is frustrating though… Should have been done 3 years ago… But alas – nothing in NYC is easy.

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