Deal is close for $27M Williamsburg site, where hotel could rise

In neighborhood home to hipsters and Hasids, an uptick in hospitality services
By David Jones | June 29, 2012 04:00PM

The owners of a Williamsburg industrial site, which was on the market for more than $27 million, are close to a deal to sell the property, which brokers say could be converted into a hotel or an office building, The Real Deal has learned. The property, at 9 Kent Avenue, in Williamsburg, is the site of a manufacturing company called Albest Metal Stamping Corp., where an 111,000-square-foot facility now stands.

Williamsburg has become a hot market for hotel development in recent years, as a growing community of former Manhattan residents has boosted demand for retail and other commercial services in the neighborhood.In March, a deal to sell the Hotel Williamsburg to King & Grove Hotels was completed for $33 million. Just last month, Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel opened its doors, after the industrial building in which it is housed underwent a $32 million renovation.  And just this week, Steiner Studios purchased the Jardin, a 44-unit luxury rental building in Wiliamsburg, for $38 million.

Records Filed With The City Finance Department Show The Kent Avenue site is the subject of a rabbinical arbitration over who the owner is. Records filed on May 17 show that investor Solomon Witriol, executor of the estate of Jonas Witriol, is named as a shareholder in the company and an arbitration proceeding was underway about the ownership status.

Neil Dolgin, co-president at Kalmon Dolgin, a Brooklyn real estate brokerage, said the property was still on the market, as he would have been notified if there was any change in status. Dolgin added that the property was available for potential use as a commercial, retail, hotel or possibly even a charter school.

In May 2011, documents show a lease termination at the site from the New York City Industrial Development Agency, which provides tax breaks and other incentives to attract or retain jobs in the city. Records show that in 1980, the IDA issued $2 million in Industrial Development Revenue Bonds to help finance the construction of the warehouse facility on the site.

“When these things terminate, [a] company will have ended its benefits period and is now back on full property tax rolls,” said a source familiar with the agency.

The lease termination agreement was signed by Alexander Fischer, president of the firm.

Witriol declined to comment. Fischer was not immediately available for comment, and Robert Benedict, vice president of sales at the firm, said he was not aware of any discussions involving the property.