The Real Deal New York

Isaac Kassirer to buy 47-building East Harlem portfolio for $350M-plus

Fairstead, E+M's formerly distressed "Dawnay Day" package contains 1,181 units

May 24, 2016 07:00AM
By Mark Maurer and Hiten Samtani

Dawnay Day

From left: 112 East 103rd Street, 411 East 118th Street and 291 Pleasant Avenue in East Harlem (inset: Stephen Siegel and Shimon Shkury)

Isaac Kassirer is in contract to buy the 1,181-unit “Dawnay Day” portfolio from Fairstead Capital and Irving Langer’s E+M Associates for north of $350 million, The Real Deal has learned. The transaction is one of the largest multifamily deals of the past year and shows Kassirer’s intent to become a major player in New York City’s multifamily market.

The formerly distressed 47-building East Harlem package was one of the largest portfolios on the market. It was named after now-defunct British investment firm Dawnay Day, which owned the buildings for two years until it fell into foreclosure in 2009.

The majority of the apartments are rent-stabilized units. Addresses include 1567 Lexington Avenue, 112-116 East 103rd Street, 233 East 111th Street and 291 Pleasant Avenue, property records show.

The deal is expected to close in August, sources said.

Ariel Property Advisors’ Shimon Shkury and Victor Sozio were marketing the portfolio on behalf of Fairstead and E+M. Sources familiar with the negotiations said Westwood Realty Associates’ Steven Vegh was involved. None of the parties involved in the deal responded to requests for comment.

In 2007, U.K.-based Dawnay Day broke into U.S. real estate with the purchase of the properties for $225 million from Harlem landlord Steven Kessner, who had been amassing the properties since the 1980s.

Dawnay Day aggressively pursued rent hikes after tenants in the rent-stabilized units had been displaced. Then, as the housing market crashed, the lender moved to foreclose on the buildings in 2009.

Galil Management — an affiliate of E+M — and Fairstead – then known as SG2 Properties – partnered to pull the properties out of foreclosure.

Kassirer, who runs Emerald Equity Group, is especially active in the Bronx and Brooklyn. In recent months, he and his partners paid $140 million for a 38-building package in the Bronx. He was also among the buyers of a 13-building, $90 million Bronx portfolio last year.

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