The Real Deal New York

YJP to buy Gramercy co-op for new community center

Former retail space near Union Square to host educational sessions, events

June 24, 2015 12:30PM
By Mark Maurer

YJP NYC event

From left: Rendering of space at 105-107 East 16th Street in Gramercy, Naftali Rosentreich, Michael Stern, Ziel Feldman and Shaya Lesches

Young Jewish Professionals, a New York-based nonprofit with a prominent real estate network, is close to buying a Gramercy commercial co-op just east of Union Square, with plans for its first community center.

The 7,000-square-foot space sits at the base of a 10-story residential co-op building at 105-107 East 16th Street, between Union Square East and Irving Place. The space spans the 3,700-square-foot ground floor, as well as the basement and mezzanine.

The co-op board is in contract to sell the unit to YJP for $3.5 million. The deal could close by early August. Renovation of the vacant retail space is slated to cost an extra $1.5 million.

Shaya Lesches, director at YJP, said the center, which is expected to open in the fall, was designed in the vein of the Harvard Club. It will be largely used for leadership and educational sessions. But there will also be an area for panels and cocktail parties.

“The center is not about being elitist or exclusive,” said Naftali Rotenstreich, co-founder at YJP. “It’s about creating an environment for the people most hungry for guidance.”

Developer Joseph Klaynberg of Wonder Works Construction is serving as chairman of the new center.

The prewar, 42,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1900.

In the past, YJP has rented its event space. The nonprofit, headquartered at 121 West 19th Street, hosted its annual Founders Gala last week at Cipriani Wall Street. At the event, Cushman & Wakefield chair Bruce Mosler was named guest of honor and Colt Equities’ Jack J. Sitt and HAP Investment Developers’ Eran Polack were recognized with awards.