The Real Deal New York

Rockfeld Group to buy retail condo in former Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower

Asking price at One Hanson was in the mid-$20M range

April 24, 2015 04:20PM
By Rich Bockmann

The ground-floor interior of One Hanson Place and Steven Feldman.

The ground-floor interior of One Hanson Place and Steven Feldman

The Brooklyn Flea may be gone, but there’s no dearth of deals being done under the vaulted ceilings of the ornate, Beaux Arts interior of the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower.

The Rockfeld Group is in contract to buy a retail condo with 61-foot ceilings at 1 Hanson Place in Downtown Brooklyn, The Real Deal has learned. The space, which was asking in the mid-$20 million range, is so cavernous that it used to host the borough’s popular bazaar. 

Rockfeld, a multigenerational family firm headed by Steven Feldman, inked the deal to buy the ornate retail property from Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, the investment firm that partnered with developer the Dermot Company to convert the former bank tower to residential use in 2006. The property was subsequently renamed One Hanson Place.

Rockfeld declined to comment.

The ground floor’s 17,000 square feet could command rents north of $125 per square foot, said Tim King of CPEX Real Estate, who was unaffiliated with the deal.

“Both the exterior and the interior spaces are landmarked, which on the one hand creates a challenge and on the other creates a unique, iconic space for someone,” King said. “And it would take a special sort of tenant to want to be there.”

The 42,000-square-foot retail condo is split between lower, ground and mezzanine levels, and since the bank tellers handed out their last lollipops the bank’s interior – which features an Art Deco design, carved teller stations and 22 varieties of marble – has been used as an events space that hosted the Brooklyn Flea between 2009 and 2013 before the market headed to a warehouse on Wythe Avenue in Williasmburg.

The property sits across the street from Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Terminal Mall – whose tenants include Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works – and a transit hub that draws more than 50,000 passengers each day.

The neighborhood was transformed with the opening of the Barclays Center in 2012 and the promise of some 6,000 residential units in Forest City’s adjacent Pacific Park project, which drove up retail rents and attracted more investment in the surrounding area.

Across the street from One Hanson, Two Trees Management is planning to build a 32-story, mixed-use tower dubbed BAM South that will feature 43,000 square feet of retail space, 50,000 square feet of cultural space and a 10,000-square-foot public plaza.

Rockfeld paid $21.5 million last year to buy the retail condo at The Related Companies and HFZ Capital Group’s One Madison, which Rockfeld is marketing.