The Real Deal New York

Waterbridge in $100M-plus contract on Williamsburg’s North 3rd St.

Properties are home to area hotspots such as Radegast Hall and Egg
By Hiten Samtani | September 16, 2014 04:06PM

Joel Schreiber’s Waterbridge Capital is in contract to lay out $100 million to buy multiple properties on North Third Street, including the buildings that house the popular beer garden Radegast Hall and brunch hotspot Egg, The Real Deal has learned. The investment firm will pay nearly $1,000 per square foot for the properties, its boldest bet yet on one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods.

Waterbridge is buying 103-119 North 3rd Street as well as 188-190 Berry Street, according to sources familiar with the transaction. The deal gives Waterbridge about 110,000 total buildable square feet, including more than 50,000 square feet of residential space with 41 rental units that are ripe for repositioning, sources said. The properties generate about $4 million in annual income, a source said. The properties also house several commercial units leased out to establishments such as Mast Brothers Chocolate and Mexican eatery Viva Toro. Those businesses are likely paying below-market rents, and will be repositioned over time. The area is also likely to see continued gentrification, perhaps best epitomized by the upcoming Whole Foods at the Cayre family’s 242 Bedford Avenue.

Still, it’s a lofty bet. Jared Epstein, a vice-president at Bobby Cayre’s Aurora Capital Associates, said the property had been shopped around for six months at the $100 million price tag.

“The price for the bricks is very high,” Epstein said. “The income in place which throws off a sub 4% unlevered yield and slim foreseen upside turned off most investors. Waterbridge has a great track record of finding value where others have not, I wish them the best of luck with this acquisition.”

Eastern Consolidated’s Gabriel Saffioti and Nicole Rabinowitsch are believed to have brokered the transaction. Representatives for the firm couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. The seller, Olga Sosa, couldn’t be reached. Waterbridge declined to comment.

The latest deal gives Waterbridge control over a large swath of the area. The firm recently acquired 158-160 North 4th Street, 151-173 North 3rd Street and 237-241 Bedford Avenue in partnership with RedSky Capital for upwards of $66 million. Waterbridge will develop about 50,000 square feet of retail space and 39 residential units on that package.