The Real Deal New York

DDG looks to acquire three Hudson Square townhouses for possible development

April 15, 2013 04:00PM
By Katherine Clarke

DDG’s Joe McMillan and 60-64 Watts Street

DDG recently kicked off construction at 325 West Broadway, the former Tootsie Roll factory in Soho, but the developer is already sniffing out its next project just a few blocks away.

The company, along with Black Diamond Capital Real Estate, a Soho-based real estate investment and development firm, has approached the owners of three separate multi-family townhouses at 60-64 Watts Street in the Hudson Square area to see if they will sell, one of the owners told The Real Deal.

Joe McMillan, CEO of DDG, was not immediately available for comment. David Johnson, founding principal of Black Diamond, declined to comment.

DDG’s plans for the project were not immediately clear, but the site does have development potential. Together, the properties span a 5,100-square-foot lot and, according to PropertyShark, have 41,000 square feet of unused air rights. The trio of townhouses is adjacent to an empty lot known as 100 Varick Street. Developer Charles Fridman of Shalimar Management had filed plans for an eco-friendly, 26-story hotel there in 2009. It was not immediately clear if that project would still move forward.

Daniel Aquilante, the owner of the townhouse at 60 Watts Street and a former music critic for the New York Post, said that DDG and Black Diamond, which appear to be working as partners, approached him about a potential sale.

While the firms have not provided Aquilante with a contract, he said, they have discussed offers of up to $7 million for his 2,940-square-foot property. A recent appraisal valued the property at about half that price, he said.

Marc Chalom, the owner of the two adjacent buildings at 60-62 Watts Street, was not immediately available for comment. Aquilante said Chalom received similar offers for his two properties.

Both owners are seriously considering the offers, Aquilante said.

All three townhouses are fully occupied, he added, but the current tenants are market-rate and most are on month-to-month leases. Both owners have held title to their properties since the 1980s, public records show.

Aquilante said he has received a series of expressions of interest in his property in recent months thanks to the buzz surrounding the rezoning of the Hudson Square district. In March, the City Council approved a massive rezoning of the area, paving the way for large-scale residential projects.

DDG is behind boutique condominium developments such as 41 Bond Street and 345Meatpacking.

MENU