The Real Deal New York

Local Chinese developer snags stake in $49M Greenpoint site

New York-based firm led by Bo Jin Zhu acquires 10-parcel property

May 22, 2014 03:31PM
By Adam Pincus

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49 Dupont Street in Greenpoint

A low-profile builder within New York City’s Chinese community purchased a stake in a large development site in Greenpoint that is valued at $48.5 million.

The Real Deal yesterday reported that an unidentified buyer had snapped up the large development site composed of 10 parcels with the addresses 2-36 Clay Street, 280 Franklin Street and 49-93 Dupont Street, for an unknown price.

Today, city records identified Bo Jin Zhu as the authorized signatory for Dupont Street Developers LLC, which purchased the parcel for $23.25 million. That company inked a purchase contract in August 2012 to buy the site from Joseph Folkman, president of the seller, 49 Dupont Realty.

At the time, Zhu was not part of the deal. Other Brooklyn investors sought to buy the contract, but those efforts failed, insiders said. Instead, Zhu bought into the purchase entity Dupont Street Developers, and closed the deal on Monday, a source at Zhu’s firm told TRD.

A deed transfer recorded today set the sale price at $23.25 million, but a person in Zhu’s office said the total equity value of the site was $48.5 million, which includes the additional cash his firm put in the project.

Berel Nagel, a broker at Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, represented the seller, 49 Dupont Realty Corp., and the buyer, Dupont Street Realty LLC, in the transaction.

Bo Jin Zhu is also identified as the manager of the company that owns 29 Ryerson Street in Clinton Hill, and president of the entity that owns 324-326 Grand Street in the Lower East Side.

After a major environmental remediation, the new owners are seeking to build affordable apartments along with market-rate units and community facilities within mid-rise buildings at the site, Zhu’s project manager for the site, told TRD. The firm is also mulling over a grocery store. Today, the site is occupied by one-, two- and three-story industrial buildings.

The project manager, who declined to provide her name, said she and the company had long-standing roots in the community, and wanted to construct buildings that would transition from the high towers planned along the waterfront down to the smaller homes existing in the neighborhood. The firm has about 400,000 square feet of development rights at the site, if inclusionary housing bonuses are used, she said.

The group plans to build in three phases.

“We have no intention to do a tower,” she said. “I’d like to have a smooth transition from their property to our property.”

“We are looking, through real estate, to make the city a more livable place,” she said.

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