The Real Deal New York

Bentley Zhao developing $43M Sheepshead Bay condo

Zhao's New Empire Real Estate Development also operates an EB-5 regional center
By Will Parker | March 30, 2017 08:30AM

bentley-zhao-2128-Ocean-Avenue

Bentley Zhao and a rendering for 2128 Ocean Avenue

Bentley Zhao’s New Empire Real Estate Development filed an offering plan for a 56-unit condominium at 2128 Ocean Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, an application with the New York State Attorney General’s office shows.

Zhao is shooting for a $43 million sellout at the 73,000-square-foot project, after buying the lot from Yu Xi-Liu last June for $3.9 million. The previous owners demolished a one-story garage at the site, but Zhao is yet to file new building permits.

New Empire is based in Sunset Park where Zhao also operates the New Empire EB-5 Regional Center from the company’s 3rd Avenue headquarters. The investment center’s website shows that the EB-5 portion of the 2128 Ocean Avenue’s capital stack is already fully funded. Details on the website reveal that unit sizes at the project will average 890 square feet and range from studios to three-bedrooms. In addition to EB-5 money, New Empire obtained an $18.5 million loan from Banco Popular North America in September.

Zhao’s ambitions and current portfolio go beyond South Brooklyn, however. New Empire is planing a 49-story condo tower at 131 East 47th Street in Manhattan, a 122-unit project. Demolition of 19th century rowhouses at the site commenced last spring. SLCE Architects is designing the new building, which will be at least partly funded with EB-5. Gary Barnett’s Extell Development sold the site to Zhao for $81 million in 2015.

New Empire is also raising EB-5 funds for a 105-unit condo in Prospect Park South, dubbed “Ocean Tower,” for a condo at 269 4th Avenue in Park Slope and at a boutique, seven-unit build at 409 West 45th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.

Muss Development and Avalon Bay Communities also have condos cooking in Sheepshead Bay at 1501 Voorhies Avenue, where they are developing a 232-unit tower.