The Real Deal New York

Baby-stroller mogul in contract to sell Soho site for $50M

Garage-turned-showroom and parking lot offer 36K buildable square feet
By Mark Maurer | July 21, 2014 03:45PM

Real estate investment firm KUB Capital is in contract to acquire a one-story Soho baby stroller store and adjacent parking lot for a total of $50 million, The Real Deal has learned.

MTM Associates, an affiliate of British stroller — or should we say pram — manufacturer Maclaren, has owned both sites at 146-150 Wooster Street, between Houston and Prince streets, for nearly three decades. The owner paid $800,000 for it in 1986, records show.

The parking lot and Maclaren’s showroom and repair-clinic space collectively offer about 36,700 buildable square feet. It was not immediately clear if brokers were involved in the off-market deal, which is expected to close by early September, sources said.

The Maclaren showroom opened in 2007 on the converted site of a former garage within the Soho Cast-Iron Historic District. Albro Parking Corp. leases and operates the lot next door.

In 2012, Maclaren USA CEO Farzad Rastegar sought to tear down the building to construct an eight-story property with as many as 15 condominium units. The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the demolition, and was subsequently hit with a lawsuit. A group of Soho artists filed suit over the approval, alleging the condo project would change the block’s character, bring more foot traffic and block sunlight. Those plans appear to have been abandoned.

Maclaren, headquartered in the U.S. in Norwalk, Conn., filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in late 2011. The company continues to operate several locations, including the 2,500-square-foot space in Soho.

KUB, led by Shawn Katz and Roger Bittenbender, was the developer behind a five-story Cobble Hill townhouse at 253 Pacific Street with condominium units averaging $2 million. Neither Rastegar nor a spokesperson for KUB could be immediately reached for comment.