The San Francisco-based investment and building firm Carmel Partners inked a contract to buy a development site at 112-118 Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan from the Lightstone Group for more than $170 million, several sources told The Real Deal.
The Lightstone Group, headed by David Lichtenstein, assembled the site composed of three parcels as well as air rights on Fulton and Dutch streets, during a long and complex process. Lightstone originally planned to build a 452-unit tower with 48 stories, on 112-120 Fulton, according to city Department of Buildings plans filed last year. However, Lightstone shifted plans and changed that to a 460-unit building with 59 stories on 112-118 Fulton after it was denied a 421-a tax abatement. That is the site that just traded.
The news comes in the wake of the disclosure that broker-turned-developer Michael Shvo is planning to buy 22 Thames Street from Fisher Brothers, Witkoff Group and others for $180 million.
The two sales underscore the surge in land prices in Lower Manhattan. Shvo will pay more than twice the $87 million the Fisher venture paid in 2012.
This would be the second development site in Manhattan for Carmel, headed by Ron Zeff, which owns and develops property nationally including in California and Washington, D.C. Carmel is part of a joint venture that is building a residential tower at 325 Lexington Avenue, between 38th and 39th streets in Midtown.
A team led by HFF broker Andrew Scandalios brought the Fulton Street property to market, according to sales material reviewed by TRD. That information said the site had up to 406,853 square feet of development rights. But sources close to the deal said the sale involved only about 380,000 square feet of development rights.
Meir Milgraum, a director of investments at Lightstone Group, declined to comment, as did Christopher Beda, senior managing partner at Carmel. Scandalios also declined to comment.
In January, Carmel purchased the 151-unit rental tower 15 Cliff Street in Lower Manhattan for $95 million, and in 2012 it picked up the 163-unit apartment building the Electra at 354 East 91st Street, also for $95 million.