Onyx Equities buying $60M leasehold on ex-TCI College campus

NJ investment firm planning an office conversion at 320 West 31st St.

Sep.September 26, 2017 04:55 PM

320 West 31st Street and Onyx’s John Saraceno

Onyx Equities is in contract to pick up the leasehold on the now-defunct TCI College of Technology’s longtime Chelsea home for about $60 million, The Real Deal has learned.

The New Jersey-based investment firm, led by John Saraceno and Jonathan Schultz, is planning an office conversion of the vacant four-story, 116,000-square-foot building at 320 West 31st Street, sources said.

After more than a century in operation, the for-profit technical college closed its doors on Sept. 1, citing economic reasons. TCI had net-leased the property since 1997, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Andrew Edelman’s Charand Real Estate Associates, which controls the entity Overtime Properties LLC, has owned it since the 1980s, property records show. The building is located between Eighth and Ninth avenues.

If the deal closes, the price per square foot would come out to about $517.

It was not clear if Onyx plans to expand the property, which has over 115,000 square feet of unused development rights.

Colliers International’s David Glassman, who also handles leasing at the building, is brokering the purchase.

Onyx is also in the market for between $40 million to $45 million in acquisition financing, sources said. Newmark Knight Frank’s Jordan Roeschlaub and Dustin Stolly are handling that search.

Newmark declined to comment, and neither Onyx nor Colliers could be immediately reached.

Onyx is planning another conversion right next door. It partnered with KBS Capital last year to convert a two-story church at 210 West 31stStreet into a retail property. Onyx has been in contract for nearly a year to sell an 80 percent stake in that building to KBS for $39.8 million.

These two pending purchases look to be Onyx’s only major New York City deals to date. The firm primarily buys commercial properties in New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York suburbs.

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