The Real Deal New York

Chetrit Group going full tilt on the Bronx

$26M purchase of 1.5-acre site could lead to as many as six resi towers in Port Morris
By Mark Maurer | January 14, 2015 01:28PM

The Chetrit Group and Somerset Partners are days away from closing on a 1.5-acre waterfront site in the Bronx for $26 million as part of an enormous residential development, The Real Deal has learned.

The site at 2401 Third Avenue, located in a one-time piano-manufacturing district in the South Bronx neighborhood Port Morris, offers 450,000 buildable square feet. For decades, Richard Mugler Construction Company has owned the land, which now houses a one-story warehouse. The deal is slated to close this week.

Just two months ago, Chetrit and Somerset picked up an adjacent block-long lot at 101 Lincoln Avenue offering 800,000 buildable square feet from crane company Gerosa, as TRD reported. Combined, the deals give the developers the chance to build a project of more than 1.2 million square feet.

Although no plans have been filed with the city yet, the buyers plan to construct as many as six residential towers averaging 25 stories in height, Somerset’s Keith Rubenstein said. The first towers to be built will hold rentals, but condominiums could be in the cards for later buildings, he said.

Eastdil Secured’s Douglas Harmon, who declined to comment, is representing Chetrit and Somerset in the deal. Eastdil, which a TRD analysis found was involved in nine of the top 10 building trades of 2014, also arranged the acquisition financing.

Chetrit and Somerset, a Midtown East-based investment firm, are also in talks to acquire a third nearby site, offering 300,000 buildable square feet, for the project, according to sources.

“We are looking to acquire developments in this highly underutilized section of the Bronx and redevelop industrial buildings,” Rubenstein said.

A spokesperson for Chetrit could not be reached for comment. The developer is also bringing a $1.8 billion condo project to the Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue.