Time Equities abandons two Brooklyn waterfront projects

By Adam Pincus | February 25, 2009 01:11PM

Francis Greenburger said Time Equities is canceling its Sunset Park plans.

Time Equities has cast aside plans to purchase and rehabilitate two major government-owned sites along the Brooklyn waterfront in Sunset Park, the company CEO said, citing the poor economy.

The Manhattan-based real estate investment and development firm pulled out of talks with the city’s Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation to buy and rehabilitate the two locations.

“Given current market conditions, Time Equities was unable to create an economically viable business plan with the Economic Development Corporation for the acquisition and redevelopment of Bush Terminal buildings B and C and Federal Building No. 2,” Francis Greenburger, chairman and CEO of Time Equities, said in a statement.

The two sites, the city-owned Bush Terminal buildings B and C to the south and the Federal Building site to the north, were part of an effort to rehabilitate industrial buildings on the Brooklyn waterfront.

Broker Neil Dolgin, co-president of Brooklyn-based Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, who was not involved in the negotiations, said he was not surprised that the deal fell through.

“Their return would be less than what they thought, and financing is very difficult,” he said.

The city wanted the Bush Terminal buildings B and C to be rehabilitated for industrial uses. The buildings, located between First Avenue and Marginal Street and 41st and 43rd streets, have a combined 400,000 square feet.

The city had a more comprehensive vision for the Federal Building site, a $205 million project to spruce up the old structure and build another. The project was heralded by Bloomberg administration officials and Brooklyn Congress members Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velazquez in May 2007 as an important step in the rehabilitation of the waterfront that would create 1,000 permanent jobs.

The EDC tapped Time Equities and the EDC for the project to redevelop the 1.1 million-square-foot federal building and construct another structure for a mixed-use, light manufacturing and retail complex in an area bound by Second and Third avenues and 30th and 32nd streets. The parcel is federally owned, but the city was working to acquire the site in order to sell it to the developer.

The Federal Building is currently unoccupied, brokers said. There are about 25 industrial tenants leasing space in Bush Terminal buildings B and C and the city would continue leasing the space as the landlord, said Janel Patterson, an EDC spokesperson.

Negotiations between the EDC and Time Equities broke down after the parties could not reach an agreement, Patterson said.

“EDC was unable to reach an agreement with the developer for the sale of Units B and C at Bush Terminal and has withdrawn the ULURP application for their disposition,” Patterson said in a statement.

Just last month, an application was certified with the Department of City Planning on behalf of the EDC to allow the sale of the Bush Terminal buildings to Time Equities, but that application was withdrawn on February 13, the City Planning Web site showed.