Jamestown to nab stake in massive Sunset Park industrial site

Aug.August 19, 2013 06:00 PM

Chelsea Market owner Jamestown Properties is on the brink of acquiring a stake in an industrial warehouse complex in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, Crain’s reported.

Jamestown, which purchased Long Island City’s Falchi building last year for a cool $80 million, will join a partnership that also includes real estate financiers Angelo Gordon and Belvedere Capital, with which they are in contract to purchase an interest in Industry City. The complex of 16 bulidings totals 6 million square feet of space and will likely be turned into a complex of office, manufacturing and perhaps film production.

“There’s a variety of different uses, from food manufacturing to clothing to technology to media that all want to come together and be near each other where their creativity feeds off of one another in this kind of space,” Michael Philips, the chief operating officer of Jamestown, told Crain’s. “The definition of manufacturing has changed and there’s a broader base of tenants who can use these types of spaces.”

The former CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Andrew Kimball, would be the property’s chief executive.

Jamestown et al. will partner with Ruby Schron, one of many recent bidders for the Empire State Building, and the Fruchthandler family, Industry City’s current landlords. Philips declined to disclose the amount of Jamestown’s share, or how much the group will pay to buy into the project, though he did say it is likely to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The group’s stake is to be purchased by October, Philips told Crain’s.

Schron and Fruchthandler defaulted on the complex’s $300 million mortgage in 2011 and suffered another struggle when Hurricane Sandy damanged several of the buildings in October. The ownership team has since restructured those debts.

The deal marks the latest in several hints of promise for Sunset Park. Salmar Properties nabbed the 1.2 million-square-foot Liberty View Industrial Plaza two years ago, invested $70 million in its renovation and aims to begin signing tenants by the end of the year. The building’s 160,000-square-foot floors are among the largest in the city. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland

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