The Real Deal New York

Developers of large Bed-Stuy complex opt for luxury condos over religious housing

Asking prices at 301-unit project on Cascade Linen site would start at $1M

Rendering of 835 Myrtle Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Credit: Samuel Wieder Associates)

The developers of the seven-building Cascade condominium complex in Bedford-Stuyvesant have ditched plans for religious housing in favor of luxury apartments that would be among the priciest in the neighborhood, sources told The Real Deal.

The development team, a group of investors from Williamsburg’s Hasidic Satmar community, plans to ask between $1 million and $2 million for the majority of the 301 apartments slated for the buildings rising on the site of the former Cascade Linen factory, sources said. The New York State Attorney General’s office has not yet approved the offering plan, though sources close to the developers said it is expected to do so in the next two months.

For nearly a year, the developers have been seeking construction financing, initially $144 million. Over that time, the first phase of construction – three of the structures – has been underway. Sources said the development group has been self-funding the project in the interim and is finalizing a deal to secure about $100 million in financing from an unidentified lender to complete the project.

Isaac Deutsch is leading the development in partnership with Abraham Brach and Nachman Leibowitz. They bought the site from Mike Kohn’s Alliance Capital Group  for $70 million in 2015, property records show. Kohn had paid only $27 million for the nine factory buildings on the site in 2013, but then filed plans for a residential complex. Deutsch and partners have largely followed through with those plans, with the intention of marketing the apartments to families and other members of the Orthodox Jewish community. Those condos are commonly sold at a discount, below market-rate.

However, a source close to the developers said the prospective residents have been far more diverse. “Anybody who wants to buy there can,” the source said.

The roughly 340,000-square-foot complex would include two 10-story buildings, one nine-story building, one eight-story building and three six-story buildings. The inclusion of a 20,000-square-foot supermarket allowed the developer to expand the residential component by that much space through a city incentive. The site, which housed a linen factory from 1898 to 2010, has the addresses 553-569 Marcy Avenue, 833-869 Myrtle Avenue and 90-134 Stockton Street.

Stefanie Marazzi, the developers’ lawyer, told a Brooklyn community board last year that 66 of the 301 apartments will be affordable. The affordable units’ prices were not immediately clear. Marazzi declined to comment for this story.

Sources said the average luxury unit’s asking price is $750 per square foot, meaning the $1 million unit would span around 1,333 square feet.

Only a handful of new projects in Bed-Stuy have commanded pricing in that stratosphere. Two examples are Brookland Capital’s 14-unit condo at 1188 Bedford Avenue and Barrett Design and Development’s 10-unit condo at 4 Downing Street on the border of Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy. Those buildings had units that sold for around $1,000 per square foot. Both, however, are boutique, not large-scale like Cascade.

“Based on my knowledge of this property and experience in this section of Brooklyn, the neighborhood does not demand pricing north of $1 million for a development of this size,” said Citi Habitats’ TRData LogoTINY Dave Maundrell, who previously consulted on design of the project under Kohn and is not involved in it now.

The first three buildings are expected to be complete in the next six to eight months, with the rest being ready by late 2018, sources said. Samuel Wieder Associates is the project’s architect of record.