The Real Deal New York

Andy Zhu sells LES dev site to Chinese developer for $29M

Bentley Zhao's New Empire Real Estate Development is managing the project for the buyer
By Rich Bockmann | December 20, 2017 02:20PM

From left: Rendering of 208 Delancey, Bentley Zhao and Andy Zhu (Credit: Times Group Construction and LinkedIn)

A group of investors led by Andy Zhu sold a Lower East Side project site to a developer from China for $29 million.

Zhu and his partners sold the site at 208 Delancey Street to Bentley Zhao’s New Empire Real Estate Development, which is managing the project for a developer based in the Chinese second-tier city of Wuhan, the seller told The Real Deal.

“The Lower East Side is better for rentals,” Zhu said. “We don’t do a lot of rentals.”

Zhu said he paid $13 million at closing to Titan Capital, his lender on the property.

Zhu and his partners bought the site at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge for $8.7 million in 2011 at a time when the neighborhood was emerging as a nascent condominium market following a rezoning three years earlier.

The 208 Delancey owners planned a 12-story, 69-unit condo building on the site, but the project stalled and they decided to cash out. In 2016 they had a contract out to sell the site for $29.5 million, but brought the potential buyer to court claiming he failed to close on the deal.

Construction is now halted with the steel structure five stories out of the ground.

New Empire Real Estate’s Zhao, who could not be immediately reached for comment, paid $34 million earlier this year to buy a newly constructed condo building in Hell’s Kitchen.

Zhu, meanwhile, recently sold a large Flushing development site for $115 million. He said he’s going to take the proceeds from the 208 Delancey sale and purchase Korean supermarkets in Flushing.