Once-troubled developer Allen Rosenberg sells off Chelsea retail condo

By Guelda Voien | April 05, 2013 06:15PM

UPDATED at 9:54 p.m. The retail condominium beneath the Indigo, a residential condo building in Chelsea, has sold for $9 million, The Real Deal has learned. The space, which is occupied by a Sherwin Williams paint store and a high-end printing facility, belonged to the financially troubled hotel investor Allen Rosenberg, according to Kevin Salmon of commercial brokerage Khizer Salmon, who represented Rosenberg.

The buyer was the Chicago-based family of Rick Tannenbaum, he confirmed to TRD. The deal closed yesterday but has not yet hit public records. The property lies at 125 West 21st Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

Rosenberg bought the retail from the Indigo’s developers, Alchemy Properties, in 2008 for about $7 million in a 1031 exchange, Salmon said. At the time, it was common for residential developers to carve ground floor retail condos out of their buildings to drum up capital and make the overall property more attractive to lenders.

Rosenberg and his company, Alrose Group, built up a modest Manhattan and Long Island portfolio before the downturn. But he fell on tough times during the recession. Two Long Island hotel properties — Allegria Hotel & Spa in Long Beach and the Garden City Hotel in Garden City — ran into financing issues, with Rosenberg losing a multimillion dollar deposit on the latter, and eventually filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the land under the Allegria. The developer became one of the recession’s more visible casualties in real estate.

Things began to look up last year when he rented his massive retail space at 80 Carmine Street in the West Village to International House of Pancakes for 49 years.

With the successful sale of the Indigo condo, Rosenberg may be back on track, Salmon said.

Tannenbaum intends to hold the property for some time, Salmon said, and chose to park cash in New York City retail for the reason many investors do: the tenants are far less demanding than in the multi-family sector, another obvious investment area for out-of-town speculators, Salmon said.

“They don’t want the headaches of multi-family dwellers calling late at night.”