The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn evangelist Dave Maundrell takes on Manhattan

Aptsandlofts to market three rental buildings, starting with 245 East 80th St.

June 15, 2015 12:46PM
By E.B. Solomont


From left: Dave Maundrell, an apartment at 245 East 80th Street, 65 East 125th Street (top) and 432 East 14th Street

One of Brooklyn’s biggest residential brokerages – and an unflagging cheerleader for the borough – is crossing the river to Manhattan for the first time.

Dave Maundrell’s will market three rental buildings located on the Upper East Side, Harlem and East Village. Among the firm’s new Manhattan projects is a repositioned rental building at 245 East 80th Street which kicks off leasing June 17. With 114 units, monthly rents range from $2,850 for a studio to a three-bedroom asking $9,740.

The property, renovated by Douglas Eisenberg’s A&E Real Estate, will ask around $65 per square foot, Maundrell said, with high-end finishes. “That same building in Brooklyn would go for more than $65,” he said, describing a new recognition that there are deals to be found in pockets of Manhattan, particularly given rising prices in prime Brooklyn neighborhoods. The Upper East Side, Maundrell said, is a “sleeping beast.”

Maundrell, a Williamsburg native who launched aptsandlofts in 2002, said he tried in vain to break into the Manhattan market at least twice over the past two years. “I had a really good client say to me, ‘Listen man, you can still grow in Brooklyn, why deal with this?’ So I opened [offices in] Cobble Hill and Bed-Stuy last year,” Maundrell said. “My whole thing is, I don’t want to go into a marketplace without having credibility, and having credibility is having projects.”

Now he has three.

Maundrell said the jobs were referrals from previous clients. “I’m not actively knocking on doors looking for business,” he said. “I don’t need to go into Manhattan, but if there’s an opportunity I’m going to seize it.”

In addition to the East 80th Street development, aptsandlofts will market a 114-unit rental on East 14th Street between First Avenue and Avenue A, the site of the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office, which is being developed by Benenson Capital Partners and Mack Real Estate Group. Previously, aptsandlofts marketed Mack’s 50 North 5th, a 229-unit luxury rental building in Williamsburg.

The Lower East Side project is set to start demolition work next month, and will consist of an eight-story and a seven-story building with a common courtyard, with 91 market-rate and 23 affordable units.

A third project is in Central Harlem, Greystone’s 80-unit rental at 65 East 125th Street.

Aptsandlofts is one of Brooklyn’s biggest firms with more than 100 agents. The company has worked on 300 new development projects and brought more than 16,000 units to market. It is leasing a rental building at 416-418 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg being developed by Eliot Spitzer’s Spitzer Engineering, which is developing three towers with more than 800 units on the site.

The brokerage’s current pipeline of projects includes 85 buildings that will hit the market over the next two to three years, including projects in Staten Island and the Bronx.

In recent months, as Brooklyn real estate prices continue to soar, some Brooklynites are searching for better deals in Manhattan. The median sales price in Brooklyn hit a record $610,894 during the first quarter according to a report from Douglas Elliman. Manhattan’s median sales price was $970,000 for the same period.

Developers who noticed a trend of Brooklyn renters fleeing to Manhattans are telling Maundrell to, “reverse it now,” and “bring them back to the city.”