Brooklyn waterfront site trades for sky-high $92M

Office conversion possible for the 1.38 million-square-foot property

TRD New York /
Sep.September 11, 2013 03:24 PM

A vast 690,000-square-foot industrial lot in Greenwood Heights has traded for $91.5 million to an investment group led by Mark Karasick of 601W Companies and Michael Silberberg of Berkley Properties, according to public records filed with the city today.

The site at 75 20th Street, which can support a property of 1.38 million square feet as of right, was previously owned by an individual named Alfonso Figliolia, public records show. It was used as a factory and contains 32 commercial units, according to PropertyShark. The deal closed Aug. 29.

The Brooklyn property could be converted to office, according to a commercial broker in the neighborhood, but could likely not be considered for a residential play because of zoning restrictions.

Neither the buyers nor the seller could immediately be reached for comment. No plans have yet been filed for the property with the city’s Department of Buildings.

The principals of 601W and Berkley recently came together on a $100 million deal to recapitalize and take a controlling interest in Chicago’s Prudential Plaza Office Towers.

The Greenwood Heights area has been heating up in terms of industrial transactions. A 213,000-square-foot kitchen supply center at 75 19th Street on the same block as the waterfront site sold for $19 million last month to CWN Property Management, a first-time buyer in the area which plans to convert the building to office.

Melissa DiBella, the commercial broker from TerraCRG who represented the seller of the 19th Street building, said the majority of recent interest in the neighborhood has been from two kinds of investors: residential developers looking to hold properties for the long term in preparation for an eventual rezoning and those looking to convert to office.

Investors believe that converted office buildings in the area can command rents in excess of $25 a foot, she said. Retail rents in the nearby Gowanus area are rumored to be around $60 per square foot and have have gone up 15 to 20 percent since it was announced that Whole Foods was coming to the neighborhood.

It was not clear if a broker was involved in the 20th Street transaction.

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