Trump consigliere Michael Cohen buys UES rental for $58M

Investor beats out bevy of foreign buyers in bid for Stonehenge 63; condos in the cards

TRD New York /
Feb.February 12, 2015 01:20 PM

Michael Cohen, in-house special counsel at the Trump Organization, too dabbles in real estate investing, albeit less publicly than the Donald. He picked up an 80,000-square-foot Upper East Side rental building from Ofer Yardeni’s Stonehenge Management for $58 million, and plans to convert it into condominiums, The Real Deal has learned.

Stonehenge paid $37 million in 2007 for the seven-story property at 330 East 63rd Street, near the Queensboro Bridge exit. Nearly one-third of the 92 apartments are rent-regulated; the rest are market-rate units. There is 175 feet of frontage along 63rd Street.

The structure, built in 1949, has no air rights and was initially overbuilt by about 10,000 square feet, according to marketing materials obtained by TRD.

Cohen, who also owns buildings on the Lower East Side and in Kips Bay, plans to renovate the property and eventually convert it to condominiums, said sources close to the deal.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Robert Knakal and Clint Olsen represented the seller, while Richard Guarino and Eric Roth of Friedman-Roth Realty Services represented the buyer.

Cohen entered contract in November to buy the building, which has a 2.9 percent cap rate, Knakal said.

“While they were not successful here, there were many foreign bidders competing for this asset,” Knakal said. “Historically, foreign buyers have provided equity financing for local operators but rarely have purchased rent-regulated assets directly. This could be a new trend unfolding.”

Guarino, Roth, Yardeni and Cohen declined to comment. In December, SL Green Realty, the city’s largest commercial landlord, took a 50 percent stake in Stonehenge’s 2.6 million-square-foot portfolio.

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