The Real Deal New York

These are the biggest Brooklyn deals of the first quarter

Kushner Companies had a hand in the borough’s two largest transactions
By Eddie Small | May 11, 2017 04:25PM

Clockwise from left: Laurent Morali, Dumbo Heights, Finn Wentworth, 475 Kent Avenue and 120 5th Avenue

Kushner Companies dominated the biggest sales in Brooklyn for the start of 2017 with a pair of office deals worth about $700 million.

Kushner TRData LogoTINY, along with LIVWRK and RFR Realty, took the top spot for Brooklyn deals in 2017’s first quarter with their roughly $600 million purchase of Dumbo Heights, and they occupied the number two spot as well with their roughly $100.3 million sale of 175 Pearl St. to Normandy Real Estate Partners. These two deals were worth more than Brooklyn’s numbers three through 10 deals combined.

The top 10 sales overall for Brooklyn’s first quarter were a mixture of three office buildings, three residential buildings, two retail buildings and two industrial buildings. They included Avery Hall Investments’ long awaited purchase of the Key Food at 120 5th Avenue in Park Slope and an Israeli firm’s purchase of a Williamsburg apartment building that once housed an illegal matzo bakery in its basement.

Brooklyn investment sales declined overall throughout 2016 by 17 percent, according to a report from TerraCRG, which CEO Ofer Cohen attributed to a lack of major portfolio trades in the borough that year.

The full list of Brooklyn’s top 10 sales for the first quarter of 2017, according to data from Real Capital Analytics, is below:

1. Dumbo Heights Portfolio, approximately $600 million

Rendering of Dumbo Heights

Buyer: Kushner Companies, LIVWRK and RFR Realty
Seller: Invesco
Brokerage: HFF
The biggest sale in Brooklyn by a roughly $500 million margin in the first quarter was led by Kushner Companies, which along with partners bought out four of the five buildings in a Dumbo Heights office and retail complex from their partner Invesco in March. Kushner, LIVWRK and RFR acquired the former Jehovah’s Witnesses buildings with Invesco in 2013 for $375 million, and tenants at the complex include Etsy, WeWork, Frog Design and Prolific Interactive.

2. 175 Pearl Street, approximately $100.3 million

Buyer: Normandy Real Estate Partners
Seller: Kushner Companies, LIVWRK and RFR Realty
Brokerage: HFF
Brooklyn’s second biggest sale is linked to the first, with Normandy Real Estate Partners purchasing the remaining piece of the Dumbo Heights complex for about $100 million from Kushner, LIVWRK and RFR Realty. The 204,000-square-foot property consists of two buildings that are eight stories tall.

3. 475 Kent Avenue, $55.7 million

Buyer: Gaia Investment Corp
Seller: Ferdinand and Nachman Brach
The Israel-based firm Gaia Investment Corp purchased this 11-story former pasta factory in South Williamsburg for $55.7 million in February and plans to make high-end renovations to the property. The building has a rather eventful history, including an incident from 2008 when roughly 150 tenants were evicted temporarily after fire officials found an illegal basement matzo bakery that they said was at risk of exploding.

4. Banner Avenue Apartments, $46.9 million

Buyer: Abro Management
Seller: Hudson Companies of Brooklyn, New York City Pension Funds
Brokerage: Westwood Realty Associates
Richard Scharf’s Abro Management will be the third owner of this pair of Brighton Beach residential buildings in four years. They were developed by GFI Capital Resources Group in 2013, and Hudson Companies then purchased them for $39.5 million in 2014 as part of an effort to invest in neighborhoods that Super Storm Sandy damaged.

5. Key Food, $45.7 million

Rendering of 120 5th Avenue

Buyer: Avery Hall Investments
Seller: Benjamin J. Levine of Pick Quick Foods
Avery Hall plans to replace this Park Slope grocery store at 120 5th Avenue with a new supermarket and a pair of residential towers after more than a year of working to close on the purchase. Neighborhood residents organized soon after Avery Hall announced the sale to ask the city to not approve any project unless it included a new grocery store and affordable housing.

6. 48 North 3rd Street, $42.5 million

Buyer: CW Realty
Seller: SWGI Realty
Cheskie Weisz’s Brooklyn development company CW Realty plans to demolish this roughly 25,000-square-foot Williamsburg warehouse and replace it with a 96-unit mixed-use development. The project would be seven stories tall and include ground floor retail, a parking garage and a rooftop garden.

7. 1245 Avenue X, $37 million

Buyer: Seymour Nierenberg
Seller: Wasserman Realty Inc
Seymour Nierenberg purchased this seven-story apartment building in Sheepshead Bay for $37 million in January. The structure contains 135 units and was built in 1963.

8. 110 Boerum Place, $30.5 million

Buyer: Hidrock Realty
Seller: Windmiller Properties
Brokerage: Cushman & Wakefield
Hidrock bought the New York Sports Club’s Boerum Hill location in January for $30.5 million. The property has 10 residential units and 12,500 square feet of air rights in addition to the sports club, and Hidrock COO Steven Hidary said the company does not plan to change anything about the building.

9. 134 Morgan Avenue, $30 million

Buyer: Carco Builders Corp.
Seller: Rick Perlen
Carco Builders Corporation purchased this warehouse property in March from Rick Perlen. Tenants in the 109,000-square-foot building include Broadway Party Rentals, Arthur Gordon Associates and Auto Parts Club, Inc.

10. Marcy Avenue Office Building, $30 million

Macy's Brooklyn

Rendering of renovated exterior at Macy’s Downtown Brooklyn location (credit: FRCH Design Worldwide)

Buyer: Acuity Capital Partners
Seller: Glory Capital
Brokerage: Meridian Investment Sales
Acuity Capital Partners purchased this six-story Williamsburg office building for $30 million in February. It was built by the YMCA in 1905 as a rooming house and currently hosts tenants including Voore and Speedy Road Test NY.

(To view more commercial sales transactions in Brooklyn over $20M, click here)