Brauser Group sells Greenwich Village condo site for record $1,000 PSF

By Katherine Clarke | August 20, 2013 11:07PM

Updated, 8:13 a.m., August 21: The Brauser Group, one of Manhattan’s major garage owners, has sold a 50,000-square-foot parking facility in Greenwich Village to Peter Armstrong’s Rigby Asset Management, The Real Deal has learned.

The property, at 17 East 12th Street Between Fifth Avenue and Union Square West, is ripe for residential conversion. Indeed, Brauser recently commissioned architecture firm GreenbergFarrow to analyze the building’s potential as a condominium.

The architecture firm proposed a conversion of the eight-story brick building into a 27-unit condo with approximately 5,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, according to its website. However, Brauser filed for a Department of Buildings permit last month to enlarge the property by three stories and convert to just eight units with a parking facility, according to the DOB’s website, which pegged the cost of the conversion at $10.35 million.

Justin DiMare of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented Brauser in the deal. He declined to comment on the transaction or identify the buyer. Brauser did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

The buyer paid $50.24 million for the property, which equates to more than $1,000 per square foot, the highest price ever paid for a condo conversion site. DiMare denied that the site was selling for $50 million when approached by The Real Deal last month but later confirmed the price to the New York Post.

Last summer, a nearby former Hertz garage at 12 East 13th Street, also primed for conversion, sold for close to $700 per square foot, public records show.

Brauser acquired the property in 1982, public records reveal. In the 1800s, it was home to the Foundling Asylum, a place where unwanted babies were dropped off by financially strapped, unmarried mothers who could not take care of them.