The Real Deal New York

991 Third Avenue sells for more than $4,000 psf

Deal is first acquisition in Manhattan for longtime Queens developer
By Adam Fusfeld | February 23, 2012 03:30PM

The Heskel Group closed last night on an $18.42 million purchase of a three-story glass retail building across the street from the Bloomingdale’s flagship, CEO Yeheskel Elias told The Real Deal. It marks the first Manhattan purchase for the Queens-based developer.

The entire building, at 991 Third Avenue on the northeast corner of 59th Street, is occupied by Capital One Bank under a long-term lease signed in 2006. The bank took over the triple-net, ground-lease when it bought North Fork Bank, which demolished the existing building and erected the current 4,560-square-foot structure.

The property was sold by Emmes Realty and was marketed exclusively by Massey Knakal Realty Services Chairman Robert Knakal and Clint Olsen, director of sales. They were the sole brokers on the deal.

“The sale was part of our standard strategy to sell an asset when it is stablized and market conditions are in our favor,” said Seble Williams, asset manager at Emmes Realty, who said the value of the property was “fully realized.”

Elias, who for four decades has been developing and acquiring assets primarily in the Forest Hills section of Queens, said the transaction falls into his strategy of acquiring more properties in the city “that have very little management responsibility and a long-term, stable credit client.”

The deal works out to about $4,040 per square foot. A source with knowledge of the deal said the property commanded such a high price because of the scarcity of true triple-net leased properties in Manhattan and the high visibility of the property. Heskel noted that traffic traveling north along Third Avenue and east across 59th Street (towards the Queensborough Bridge) can’t help, but see the building.

Massey Knakal declined to comment and Capital One did not return a request for comment.