UPDATED, 9:50 p.m., Jan.14: Abraham Leifer, a Borough Park-based investor who runs Aview Equities, is stealthily piecing together a large Downtown Brooklyn assemblage that could make way for an office-and-retail project of more than 220,000 square feet.
Leifer is in contract to buy three low-rise commercial buildings at 275-281, 283 and 291 Livingston Street for a total of more than $70 million, according to sources familiar with the deals.
The two adjacent three-story office properties at 275-281 and 283 Livingston — also known as 23-25 and 15-21 Hanover Place respectively — offer nearly 140,000 buildable square feet alone, property records show. The sites are bounded by Livingston Street, Hanover Place and Grove Place.
The properties at 275-281 and 283 Livingston are expected to sell for about $18.5 million and $42 million respectively, while 291 Livingston is in contract for $10 million, sources said. The deals will likely close in the next few months.
John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group owns 291 Livingston, which currently holds a two-story property. The Lieberman Group owns 283 Livingston, and investor and optometrist Harry Blaustein owns 275-281 Livingston.
There are two parcels – at 285 and 287 Livingston Street – that would connect the buildings currently under contract, and therefore complete the assemblage. But the parcels’ owner, former New York state Assemblyman Matthew Mirones, has no plans to sell at this time, sources said. Those properties together offer an additional 50,000 square feet of buildable space.
And a property at 289 Livingston Street, if added to the assemblage, would allow a tower of nearly 250,000 square feet, but it isn’t an essential piece of the puzzle.
The buildings are all zoned for a wide range of commercial uses, allowing for a mix of office and retail. After acquiring the desired parcels, Leifer will look to either develop them himself or sell them to a developer, sources said.
Leifer, who declined to comment, founded Aview in 2011, according to his LinkedIn page. His investments have largely been in Brooklyn properties.
ABS Partners Real Estate’s Alan Cohen and Ben Waller, who declined to comment, were shopping around the property at 275-281 Livingston. It’s unclear which other brokerages are involved in the deals.
Of the five parcels, all have frontage on Grove Place except for 275-281 Livingston. Grove Place is a 250-foot-deep alley that was transformed in 2013 from a garbage dump into a public space for festivals and food markets.
Opposite the Livingston Street side of the assemblage, TF Cornerstone is developing a 714-unit residential tower at 33 Bond Street.
The neighborhood is seeing an influx in residential development, often accompanied by new ground-floor retail. Developer Doug Steiner is bringing 581 rental units to 333 Schermerhorn Street, at a roughly 600-foot-high tower called the Hub. Adam America Real Estate, Slate Property Group and China Vanke are at work on a 33-story, 150-unit condominium tower at 8-16 Nevins Street.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly described TF Cornerstone’s 33 Bond Street. It is slated to have 714 units.