The Real Deal New York

Laurence Gluck takes stake in two Upper West Side buildings

Stellar Management chief buys Jack Benishai’s interest in holding company that owns properties
By Hiten Samtani | March 10, 2014 01:02PM

Laurence Gluck bought a 50 percent interest in The Corporation That Owns Two Upper West Side Rental Buildings On West 76th Street, a source familiar with the transaction told The Real Deal. The deal for 250 West 76th Street — a four-story, 4,868-square-foot building, and 252 West 76th, an 11-story, 50,600-square foot building — closed during the fourth quarter of last year.

The properties, which have 69 units between them, are owned by a C corporation. The purchase has been structured as an acquisition of a stake in the corporation that owns the buildings, rather than a purchase of the buildings themselves.

Brothers Jack and David Benishai each held a 50 percent stake in the corporation. The source told TRD that Jack Benishai sold his share to Gluck, the founder of Stellar Management.

The Naftali Group was vying to purchase the properties. In January 2013, Naftali sued Jack Benishai for an alleged breach of a letter of intent to sell his 50 percent stake, as TRD reported. The suit claimed that due to Jack Benishai’s “foot dragging and inaction,” a party that Naftali was interested in bringing on board walked away from the deal. Naftali claimed that caused the company significant losses and put its plans for the property into jeopardy.

Naftali had been looking to purchase both properties for $25 million. The source declined to say how much Gluck paid for the stake in the corporation.

It remains unclear whether David Benishai and Gluck, who declined to comment on the deal, will look to convert the properties into condominiums or cond-ops or continue to operate them as rentals.

In June, a partnership between Stellar and Savanna Real Estate Fund sold a Lower Manhattan office tower at 2 Rector Street to a joint venture between the Kushner Companies and CIM Group for $140 million. In October, Stellar and Icon Realty Management paid $7.5 million for an East Village walk-up building at 128 Second Avenue. And in January, news reports indicated that Gluck was looking to buy his longtime partner Robert Rosania out of stakes in several properties in the city the two jointly own.