The Real Deal New York

Development firm sets its sights on Park Slope, Carroll Gardens

East River Partners is buying up, converting brownstone Brooklyn properties

October 01, 2012 05:30PM
By Christopher Cameron

From left: 397 First Street, 371 Sixth Avenue, 364 Union Street and 432 10th Street

These days, high-end Manhattan condo conversions are as quotidian as eight-figure listings. But with soaring prices for properties in Brooklyn’s leafier neighborhoods, some of the borough’s pre-war multi-family rental buildings are getting Manhattan-style makeovers.

In Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, the Manhattan-based developer East River Partners is currently buying up and gut-renovating non-rent regulated multi-family buildings throughout the area. In the past year and a half, the firm has scooped up three multi-family buildings in Park Slope and one in Carroll Gardens. The company is in the process of transforming the buildings into 900- to 2,000-square-foot, two and three bedroom condominiums — units designed to lure Brooklyn’s Bugaboo stroller-pushing set.

“Rents are so strong in Brooklyn now — and interest rates so low — that the monthly cost for our buyers of owning a home can be roughly half the cost or renting once they take into effect the deduction of interest from their taxes,” East Rivers Partners principal Jody Kriss said, explaining why the firm is intent on buying up and converting Brooklyn buildings.

Kriss, together with Joseph Cohen, recently formed East River Partners to buy up and convert prime Brooklyn properties. Prior to founding the company, Kriss was a developer of high-profile Manhattan projects, including Trump Soho, and Cohen acted as the head of acquisitions at Maxx Properties.

And while the success of their Brooklyn model is still being tested, the firm has had some early victories. For instance, East Rivers’ recently converted multi-family building at 397 First Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, in Park Slope, which came on the market in July, has four of its seven units in contract. Asking prices on the remaining three apartments range from $829,000 to nearly $1.3 million.

Just four blocks southwest of 397 First, East River purchased another prewar multi-family building at 371 Sixth Avenue, between 5th and 6th streets, for $1.75 million in March, according to public records; beginning in October, the four-unit property is set to undergo a renovation similar to that at 397 First. And construction recently got underway at 364 Union Street, at Smith Street, in Carroll Gardens; East River picked up the Carroll Gardens property in April for $2.5 million, public records showed. Construction on both projects is expected to wrap up next year, and pricing will be similar to units at 397 First, Kriss said.

In addition, East River is in contract to buy yet another Park Slope property at 432 10th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, for an undisclosed amount; the three-story building is listed for nearly $1.6 million with Century 21 Block & Lot’s Mike Hasan.

Converting multi-family buildings in Park Slope on this scale is fairly unique, due to the limited supply of non-rent controlled properties, according to Seth Brown of Aspen Equities, who is not involved in East River’s deals. Competition isn’t coming primarily from other firms looking to buy swaths of rental buildings, but from families looking to convert townhouses into grand multi-million dollar homes, he said.

East River management says that they see brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods as a safe bet — given the proximity to Prospect Park, to well-regarded public schools, to popular restaurants and upscale retail. “We have been extremely pleased with the market’s reception to what we’ve built,” Cohen said.  “So far, all of the units we’ve sold have been at or over the asking price.”

115 Responses to “Development firm sets its sights on Park Slope, Carroll Gardens”

  1. April 06, 2014 at 6:53 pm, Kriss Data? said:

    I know this article is old, but I suggest not doing any dealings with East River Partners. One of their owners is a shady guy.

  2. April 07, 2014 at 3:55 am, JodyKrissDotCom said:

    Anyone else see the article in the NY Post about Jody Kriss? If you haven’t you should give it a google.

  3. April 07, 2014 at 10:02 am, river1 said:

    What is
    going on with all these Kriss lawsuits coming to life?

    • April 07, 2014 at 12:21 pm, guest said:

      What do you expect from Wharton, honestly?

      • April 07, 2014 at 12:21 pm, river1 said:

        That’s not fair. Don’t discredit an entire school from the results of one graduate’s business practices

      • April 07, 2014 at 1:50 pm, krissinsider said:

        It’s not Wharton, it’s a bad egg. I’m sure he was normal after graduation, but the associations made since then were what turned him into a scumbag ex mobster.

    • April 07, 2014 at 1:50 pm, krissinsider said:

      The lawsuit against him was brought to light a few weeks ago and circulated all over the country in various news outlets.

  4. April 07, 2014 at 11:19 am, Antilles said:

    Heard he
    tried to sue Donald Trump and dozens of others for over a billion dollars

    • April 07, 2014 at 12:23 pm, guest said:

      Google the guy’s name and see what pops up. A lot of negative things to say about Kriss and East River Partners

      • April 07, 2014 at 12:24 pm, Antilles said:

        Whoa, you weren’t kidding. So either this guy has some serious enemies who are trying to bury him under a mess of bad publicity, or this is some serious crap he’s in

      • April 07, 2014 at 1:49 pm, krissinsider said:

        When a high-profile real estate developer has this kind of bad business cropping up on the headlines for his own name, something has to be up.

    • April 07, 2014 at 1:48 pm, krissinsider said:

      Donald Trump and a whole team of others as well. http://www.jodykriss.net has the images of one of the documents for reference. Scummy individual, that’s for sure.

      • April 07, 2014 at 3:05 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

        That’s a lot of LLC’s, LLP’s, and important people.

      • April 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm, doubleentendre said:

        Haha look at the summons. The attorney’s email address is fredd55@aol.com. AOL??? Really???

  5. April 07, 2014 at 12:19 pm, guest said:

    I was linked to this article by a real estate forum. What is going on with East River Partners?

      • April 07, 2014 at 12:21 pm, lolmob said:

        This reeks of mob tactics

      • April 07, 2014 at 12:25 pm, Sal said:

        Who is Salvatore Lauria and why did he need an anlket

        • April 07, 2014 at 12:26 pm, guest said:

          lol, “According to the NY Law Journal posted on March 19, 2014, “Lauria claims that Kriss was “intrigued” by his criminal history, routinely asked to see his ankle monitor, courted Russian and Turkish mobsters and became known in the office as “vor-ton,” a play on words reflecting his alma mater and a Slavic phrase for thief.”

          • April 07, 2014 at 1:28 pm, krissinsider said:

            Kriss was more than “intrugued”, he is an ex-mobster fascinated with someone who got caught doing what he was already doing.

          • April 07, 2014 at 2:58 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

            Kriss was so enamored of the criminal underworld that he also “would routinely ask to see Lauria’s court-mandated ankle monitor and referred to it as ‘federal jewelry,’ ” according to the papers.

        • April 07, 2014 at 12:26 pm, guest said:

          I did some digging on Lauria and found nothing really. Maybe someone with further reaching hands can dig up something deeper. I’m genuinely interested in learning more about this. I smell a book deal

          • April 07, 2014 at 12:27 pm, Sal said:

            Regarding Lauria, a NYT article states: “Mr. Lauria agreed to cooperate with the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn and pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in connection with the fraudulent stock brokerages”

          • April 07, 2014 at 12:27 pm, guest said:

            Strong Jordan Belfort vibes from that guy.

          • April 07, 2014 at 1:44 pm, krissinsider said:

            You’re telling me. But instead of dealing with Swiss banks, he is dealing with mob bosses, and instead of being a stock broker, he’s a real estate developer.

          • April 07, 2014 at 3:03 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

            I’ve seen you responding to a lot. Do you know a lot about this case and this ex mobster? Let me know, and we can pool resources and maybe release something. Thanks.

          • April 07, 2014 at 1:43 pm, krissinsider said:

            He wasn’t alone in that racket, but what is going on now with the ex-mobster Jody Kriss is more relevant than something that happened over 10 years ago.

          • April 07, 2014 at 3:01 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

            “Lauria began consulting for Bayrock, whose projects include the Trump Soho hotel/condominiums on Spring Street, with Kriss as the front man, the lawsuit says.

            But Kriss grew furious when Lauria brokered an $85 million real-estate deal with the FL Group of Iceland in 2007 and took the entire $2.5 million commission, the lawsuit says.”

          • April 07, 2014 at 1:42 pm, krissinsider said:

            It’s less about Lauria and more about stopping Kriss’ scummy business practices. Look deeper and you’ll find more information regarding this.

          • April 07, 2014 at 2:59 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

            This is some mafia-level stuff I thought only happened in movies. Never would I have thought it was all read world.

          • April 07, 2014 at 2:59 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

            The New York Post article I linked to above stated the following: Lauria, 51, turned federal informant in the 1990s to dodge a racketeering charge as part of a $40 million Wall Street pump-and-dump scheme. A former Gambino and Genovese associate, his testimony helped put away the relatives of Carmine “the Snake’’ Persico and Sammy “Bull’’ Gravano.

        • April 07, 2014 at 12:26 pm, guest said:

          Lauria co-wrote a book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Scorpion-Frog-Times-Crimes/dp/1893224260

          • April 07, 2014 at 1:27 pm, krissinsider said:

            Lauria is trying to get that book pulled, though.

          • April 07, 2014 at 2:58 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

            I’ve read that. Filler, mainly. There’s a reason it’s not a bestseller.

        • April 07, 2014 at 1:27 pm, krissinsider said:

          Lauria is a guy who got mixed up with the wrong crowd a long time ago. He wants $5 million for emotional distress from Kriss the scumbag.

          • April 07, 2014 at 2:57 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

            I’m surprised he didn’t go for more. Greedy Kriss wanted a billion dollars from dozens of people haha!

          • April 07, 2014 at 3:37 pm, Vorton said:

            A billion dollars?!?!?! Good going, Vorton. You know what I’d do with a billion dollars? I’d disappear forever.

        • April 07, 2014 at 2:57 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

          He was involved in some crap back in the day it seems, and was harassed a lot by Kriss regarding it.

      • April 07, 2014 at 2:51 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

        This is one of dozens of other stories from various outlets regarding the same case. Highly probable it’s legitimate.

    • April 07, 2014 at 12:20 pm, Sal said:

      I was linked here from the same forum as well. Any more info?

      • April 07, 2014 at 12:23 pm, ancil McGowan said:

        It could be nothing more than a swath of negative press

        • April 07, 2014 at 1:46 pm, krissinsider said:

          Yeah, that’s a whole lot of negative press! I’ve seen worse come out of the real estate boom in the City.

        • April 07, 2014 at 3:05 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

          New York Post doesn’t post fake information.

      • April 07, 2014 at 3:04 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

        I’m here from the forum, too. Username on there is REGIS12

    • April 07, 2014 at 12:20 pm, guest said:

      It’s on a ton of various news outlets. Was a large PR piece a few weeks ago.

        • April 07, 2014 at 12:22 pm, Sal said:

          Okay, that seems relatively shady. But there’s no proof that this is what is going on

          • April 07, 2014 at 1:23 pm, krissinsider said:

            There’s plenty of proof. Look around. There’s lawsuit papers and subpoenas and court documents all over. Dude tried to sue the Trumps for a billion dollars last year!

          • April 07, 2014 at 2:50 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

            Bingo. Ex mobster sues former employer. More at 11.

          • April 07, 2014 at 2:49 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

            How much more proof do you need? http://nypost.com/2014/03/16/mob-rat-says-business-partner-tried-to-nail-him-over-2-5m-suit/

          • April 07, 2014 at 4:11 pm, robweissisdaman said:

            It is all circumstantial evidence, but there’s alot of it. There’s probably nothing the courts can do, but people should try to avoid doing business with him

        • April 07, 2014 at 1:21 pm, krissinsider said:

          Jody Kriss went from Bayrock to East River Partners after things went sour. Lauria was a consultant who had ties with not-so-nice parties in the past. Kriss is a scumbag. Highly suggested you stay away from his bad business practices.

          • April 07, 2014 at 4:08 pm, aphil8291 said:

            He goes from one scam to another. How is jody kriss not in jail by now

          • April 07, 2014 at 4:09 pm, sulaur87 said:

            Because he has daddy’s protection and a lot of money. That scumbag will probably never learn his lesson.

        • April 07, 2014 at 2:49 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

          Not sure about that article, but there’s several articles at Gambling911 regarding his scummy tactics. I linked to one already: http://www.gambling911.com/gambling-news/jody-kriss-compared-%E2%80%98godfather%E2%80%99-film-consigliore-court-filings-031814.html.

        • April 07, 2014 at 2:49 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

          Not sure about that article, but there’s several articles at Gambling911 regarding his scummy tactics. I linked to one already: http://www.gambling911.com/gambling-news/jody-kriss-compared-%E2%80%98godfather%E2%80%99-film-consigliore-court-filings-031814.html

      • April 07, 2014 at 1:20 pm, krissinsider said:

        A lot of bad business in all those articles. I’ve seen the same piece about Salvatore suing him for $5 million posted on news networks pages all across the country!

        • April 07, 2014 at 2:48 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

          Serves him right. I wouldn’t want someone continuing to ask me about my anklet all the time.

          • April 07, 2014 at 3:37 pm, Vorton said:

            Above the paragraph in the NYP article about the anklet is one about him being nicknamed “vorton” by his Russian mobster buddies. It’s funny because he went to Wharton and: Russian pals started calling him “Vor-ton,” a play on his alma mater Wharton,’’ the suit says. In Russia, mobsters are referred to as vor-in-laws, or thief-in-laws.

      • April 07, 2014 at 2:48 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

        On various news networks and comments from other articles, plus the thread on the real estate board, I’ve counted over 30 PR pieces all over the country, to places like Hawaii and Maine and Orlando, etc.

    • April 07, 2014 at 1:18 pm, krissinsider said:

      What’s NOT going on with East River Partners is more like it. One of their main guys is a real scummy guy with mob boss tactics.

    • April 07, 2014 at 2:46 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

      Not all of East River, but a former employee of Bayrock turned East River principal named Jody Kriss. Scummy character.

      • April 07, 2014 at 3:38 pm, Vorton said:

        A former employee of Bayrock turned East River principal named Vorton. -FTFY

  6. April 07, 2014 at 12:24 pm, curiousaboutkriss said:

    Are you guys from the forum thread discussing this?

    • April 07, 2014 at 12:24 pm, Sal said:

      Yes

    • April 07, 2014 at 12:25 pm, lolmob said:

      Yeah, taht’s where we are from

    • April 07, 2014 at 1:51 pm, krissinsider said:

      I got word from the forum thread and spent some time digging deeper into the mess. I’m from the area, so it hits home a bit.

  7. April 07, 2014 at 2:44 pm, fromrealestateboards said:

    What about this recent New York Post article about Kriss’ shady dealings and manipulative business tactics? http://nypost.com/2014/03/16/mob-rat-says-business-partner-tried-to-nail-him-over-2-5m-suit/

  8. April 07, 2014 at 3:28 pm, guest72018 said:

    Wow J. Kriss is such a scumbag, hope he and his father get their just desserts

  9. April 07, 2014 at 3:35 pm, Vorton said:

    Can someone explain to me the concept of Kriss being called “vorton” in a few articles? Thanks.

    • April 07, 2014 at 3:36 pm, Vorton said:

      Never mind, I found it embedded within the New York Post article: Russian pals started calling him “Vor-ton,” a play on his alma mater Wharton,’’ the suit says. In Russia, mobsters are referred to as vor-in-laws, or thief-in-laws.

  10. April 08, 2014 at 11:57 am, question said:

    What did
    he try to sue them for?

  11. April 09, 2014 at 9:10 am, informant said:

    This
    should help: http://jodykriss.info/

  12. April 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm, Krisswatch said:

    It still doesn’t give
    any information as to what the lawsuit is about. Why is he suing all these
    people?

    • April 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm, 777 said:

      I don’t think it’s suing as much as it is tried to sue. If he had won, I’m sure it would have been all over the news. This case is almost a year old.

  13. April 15, 2014 at 9:45 am, Alexis Q said:

    So can someone clarify this entire situation for me? I read all of the comments and I’ve been following along with Jody Kriss’ lawsuit issues and his propensity for being a habitual litigator, but I don’t know how much of it is believable. Thanks.

    • April 15, 2014 at 9:46 am, Walter V. Dugan said:

      Absolutely. From what I can gather from the New York Post article (http://nypost.com/2014/03/16/mob-rat-says-business-partner-tried-to-nail-him-over-2-5m-suit/), Kriss was involved in some mobster tactics and strange stuff involving a guy named Salvatore Lauria, a mob informant with a police tracking anklet that Kriss would bug him about constantly.

      • April 15, 2014 at 9:47 am, Alexis Q said:

        I’m not following. What does this have to do with the billion-dollar lawsuit and the $20 million blogger lawsuit he’s trying to get pushed forward?

        • April 15, 2014 at 9:54 am, Walter V. Dugan said:

          You can read the court document from the billion-dollar lawsuit here: http://jodykriss.net/. Kriss was involved with Bayrock. Interestingly enough, look at one of the names of the Group IV defendants.

          • April 15, 2014 at 9:59 am, Alexis Q said:

            Wait, this “billion-dollar lawsuit” included Donald Trump as a defendant? Why? Was it something involving the Trump SoHo project that Bayrock had?

          • April 15, 2014 at 9:59 am, Walter V. Dugan said:

            I’m not completely sure, but the lawsuit was thrown out, obviously. So then this Lauria fellow counter-sues Kriss for $5 million in emotional damages.

          • April 15, 2014 at 10:00 am, Alexis Q said:

            Was that case thrown out of court as well along with the $1 billion suit against the entirety of New York City? Or did something actually come of it?

          • April 15, 2014 at 10:01 am, Alexis Q said:

            Wait, so was Kriss involved in the $85 million deal with the FL Group that made Lauria the $2.5 million commission, or did he just do a small task and feel that he was entitled to some of it?

          • April 15, 2014 at 4:28 pm, Walter V. Dugan said:

            Whatever the case was, Kriss decided to take the mobster route and hire someone to beat the crap out of him in a restaurant and threaten to kill him. I’d assume he did some of the work and thought he was entitled to half the money for some reason.

          • April 15, 2014 at 4:29 pm, Walter V. Dugan said:

            Oh, I fully agree. The guy is a scumbag. But that brings us to the $20 million lawsuit against a blogger who was basically stating all the things I’ve talked about in my comments.

          • April 15, 2014 at 4:30 pm, Alexis Q said:

            I find it funny that, if this is the case, he was quoted in the New York Post article as saying that “the bullying needs to stop” and that he is being pressured by lawsuits that they are losing. It seems from this that it is the complete opposite.

          • April 16, 2014 at 7:06 am, Walter V Dugan said:

            Oh, I fully agree. The guy is a scumbag. But that brings us to the $20 million lawsuit against a blogger who was basically stating all the things I’ve talked about in my comments.

          • April 16, 2014 at 7:07 am, Alexis Q said:

            Do you have a link that I can read regarding this situation?

          • April 16, 2014 at 7:07 am, Alexis Q said:

            Wow, so Jody Kriss is attempting to sue someone against their first amendment rights to freedom of speech? That sounds a little on the scummy side if I say so myself.

          • April 16, 2014 at 7:08 am, Alexis Q said:

            So what does an individual do in a situation like this? Just ignore it?

          • April 16, 2014 at 7:09 am, Walter V. Dugan said:

            Trust me, if he had that press release drawn up and sent out, he is not ignoring it. I wouldn’t be surprised if, once this case hits rock bottom, Lombardi countersues like Lauria did.

          • April 17, 2014 at 9:02 am, Alexis Q said:

            But he had to hire a lawyer in the first place to make this counter-comment on the press release, correct? What happens regarding that? Can he bill Kriss once the suit is dropped?

          • April 17, 2014 at 9:03 am, Alexis Q said:

            Wow, so basically Jody Kriss really screwed the guy because he didn’t like what he said about him in some blog post?

          • April 17, 2014 at 9:03 am, Alexis Q said:

            Sounds like Kriss is power tripping hardcore. What a scummy individual. Is East River’s other partner aware of these thigns happening?

          • April 16, 2014 at 7:08 am, Walter V. Dugan said:

            Yep. As stated in the release: “”Without prejudice to Mr. Lombardi’s right to fully respond to any complaint served by Plaintiff in this action, Mr. Lombardi, an investigative political journalist and blogger, notes that the very commencement of this action is a blatant attempt to eradicate one of the hallmarks and most cherished values of a free society: the first amendment and free speech.”

  14. July 09, 2014 at 10:20 am, M&M Larry said:

    Whoa, did you guys see this recent article about Kriss and East River exposing a family to lead paint and other toxic chemicals on purpose? http://www.greenpointnews.com/news/6162/endangered-86th-street-residents-can-breathe-a-sigh-of-relief

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