The Real Deal New York

Ben Shaoul sells Liberty Toye building to Bronx investor for $85M

Buyer 1031’d proceeds from $53M Bronx multifamily sale to Lightstone Group
By Rich Bockmann and E.B. Solomont | September 24, 2018 06:00PM

Ben Shaoul and Liberty Toye at 62 Avenue B in Brooklyn (Credit: Getty Images and Liberty Toye)

Bronx-based investor Martin Shapiro bought Ben Shaoul’s Liberty Toye apartment building in the East Village for $85 million.

Shapiro, who heads Bronx River Management Corp., closed Friday on the purchase of the 81-unit rental building at 62 Avenue B, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.

Neither Shapiro nor Shaoul could be immediately reached for comment.

The Real Deal first reported in May that Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate was in contract to sell the property to an unidentified buyer.

Magnum bought the property, a former nursing home, for $25.5 million in 2011, and in 2013 converted it into a rental building dubbed Bloom 62. The owner flirted with selling the building for as much as $80 million, but then decided to move forward with a plan to convert the property to condominiums.

Magnum rebranded the building with the Liberty Toye name and this past November filed a condo offering plan that targeted a $92.5 million sellout for the project. Town Residential was brought on board to handle sales.

But earlier this year, Magnum changed course and decided to sell the property and return deposits buyers put down on apartments.

Shapiro, who plans to keep the building as a rental, is reinvesting proceeds from a recent multifamily sale in the Bronx through a 1031 exchange. The investor earlier this month sold a trio of rental buildings to the Lightstone Group for $53 million.

The mother-and-daughter brokerage team of Victoria Terri-Cote and Cristina Cote co-brokered the sale of Shapiro’s Bronx properties alongside Cushman & Wakefield and represented the buyer in his purchase of Liberty Toye, sources told TRD.

Victoria Terri-Cote and Cristina Cote

The Cotes declined to identify their client by name, but said that Liberty Toye is a highly amenitized building in a neighborhood where that’s rare.

“[Our client] sold the Bronx portfolio at the peak of the market and then upgraded to buy luxury asset in the downtown market,” Cristina Cote said.

The two started the transaction while brokers at Town Residential, but following the company’s closure they’re now operating under the new independent shop of Cote Luxury Real Estate.

Town New Development represented Magnum Real Estate in the deal.