Developer does affordable project to land building bonus

253-255 Third Avenue will net Apex Real Estate 40K sf of transferable development rights
By Rich Bockmann | July 31, 2014 06:00PM

Development firm Apex Real Estate Investments is ready to swing the wrecking ball on Third Avenue in Gramercy to make way for an affordable housing project. The sweetener? The project will generate a 40,000 square-foot building bonus that the fledgling firm plans to transfer to an as-yet undisclosed market-rate project on the East Side.

“We’re not building it for the economics of that project,” Apex founder and president Kas Sanandaji said of the 25-unit building planned to rise at 253-255 Third Avenue, where permits have been granted to demolish a pair of three-story buildings. “It’s just to get the bonus, which we can transfer anywhere in the community board.”

Sanandaji said the inclusionary housing bonus will generate an additional 40,000 square feet of development rights he plans to transfer to a market-rate development within the East Side’s Community Board 6, though declined to identify the site.

Apex is developing both projects with equity partner Kevin Maloney’s Property Markets Group. The team bought the Third Avenue site for $9.48 million in March. Sanandaji said groundbreaking is about two months away with a scheduled completion date near fall 2016.

This is the first ground-up development project for Apex, the firm Sanandaji launched in January after leaving the Lightstone Group where he had served as senior vice president of acquisitions and development. In addition to development Apex focuses on large-asset repositioning.