Formerly bankrupt fishmonger sells South Street parcels

By Adam Pincus | December 01, 2011 04:25PM

M. Slavin & Sons, the 100-year old commercial fish supplier that exited from bankruptcy this week, is partnering with a Connecticut real estate firm to develop an estimated $15 million mixed-use project on South Street in Lower Manhattan.

Members of the Slavin family sold their three, four-story buildings at 104-106 South Street, at the corner of Beekman Street, to South Street Waterfront LLC, a joint venture partnership between Pilot Real Estate Group based in Greenwich, Conn., the majority partner, and the Slavin family, several sources familiar with the deal said.

The South Street neighborhood is growing in stature both as a residential and retail destination, as part of a broader revitalization of Lower Manhattan.

The three buildings were owned by the Slavin family, and not their bankrupt, Bronx-based fish company, but the money paid by the joint venture partner was used to recapitalize the seafood supplier, Adam Luysterborghs, principal with financial firm Avant Capital Partners, who advised on the real estate deal, said.

“By structuring the transaction in this way, the Slavins did not have to sell on a distressed basis and are positioned to benefit when the properties are successfully repositioned, without taking any of the development risk,” Luysterborghs said.

Pilot Real Estate declined to comment, and Cindy Slavin, an executive of the seafood firm, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The firm, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in February, signed the deal yesterday as part of its plan to reorganize and end the bankruptcy process. The redeveloped properties will likely have a restaurant on the ground floor and residential apartments above, Luysterborghs said.

The amount of money the developer paid to form the joint venture was not disclosed, and city property records related to the transaction have not yet been filed.

The three adjacent properties, all part of the South Street Seaport Historic District, contain about 22,236 square feet of space, but they have an additional approximately 8,500 square feet of development rights, data from shows.

This is the second real estate sale related to the bankruptcy this year. In June, M. Slavin & Sons sold three Brownsville, Brooklyn properties in a public bankruptcy auction conducted by David R. Maltz & Co. for $1.26 million to two separate buyers, Richard Maltz, company vice president said. M. Slavin had once sought $6.5 million for those parcels.