In 2015, Miki Naftali was one of the first developers to declare that the Emperor had no clothes. Land was just too expensive for deals to make sense, he said at the time, and his company, the Naftali Group, would be focusing for a time on their active projects rather than sourcing new deals.
But now, that dormant period has ended. The developer is stitching together an Upper East Side assemblage along Madison Avenue, likely paving the way for its next residential project, sources told The Real Deal.
The Naftali Group is in the process of buying a cluster of four adjacent five-story mixed-use buildings at 1039-1045 Madison Avenue. It closed last week on the $21.2 million purchase of one of the buildings, at 1041 Madison, as TRD reported Monday. Sources said Naftali is in the midst of the other purchases, but has not closed on them yet.
Representatives for the Naftali Group declined to comment.
The four properties together offer more than 60,000 buildable square feet total, property records show, and it’s unclear if Naftali is securing air rights from neighboring buildings to add to the assemblage. Two of his Upper West Side boutique condo projects that were completed this year – 210 and 221 West 77th Street – spanned 80,000 square feet apiece.
The buildings in play house retailers such as Italian menswear shop Davide Cenci and women’s clothing brand Eileen Fisher. The property’s owners are Buchbinder & Warren (1039 Madison), Masto Realty Corporation (1043 Madison) and James Daniels Consulting (1045 Madison), records show.
If Naftali were to develop the site, it would rise between East 79th and 80th streets.
Last September, Naftali hired David Hochfelder, a former senior executive at Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty, to be his new head of acquisitions last year, as his company decided to ramp up dealmaking after the quiet period.
Hiten Samtani contributed reporting.