Peter Fine staked out a site along the path of the Second Avenue subway’s next phase.
Fine — who earlier this year launched a new platform, Bolivar Development — paid $28.5 million to buy almost a full block along Second Avenue between 102nd and 103rd Streets in East Harlem where he plans to develop an apartment building with 160 rental units, sources told The Real Deal.
“The subway is only going to help the market-rate rents,” Fine told TRD. “I also think that we have an increasing rental population in New York City that wants to live in diverse communities, and this area offers more diversity and culture than buildings south of 96th Street.”
“And I don’t mean culture like the Metropolitan Museum,” he added.
Itan Rahmani of Venture Capital Properties, who negotiated the sale with his colleague Rotem Elias, said there’s been “a lot of hype” in the area around the subway extension.
“There’s definitely going to be rental growth when the second phase takes place,” he said. “There are going to be stops at 96th Street and 106th Street, and this is right in between them.”
Fine’s Bolivar Development purchased the eight parcels at 1986-1998 Second Avenue from Charles Dayan’s Bonjour Capital, which had paid $28.55 million to assemble the properties in 2015.
Dayan could not be immediately reached for comment.
The purchase price works out to just shy of $270 per square foot for the site, which has about 106,000 square feet of buildable space. The only property Fine doesn’t own is one at the corner of 102nd Street, which is owned by William Guerrero of City Property Management, who owns several rental buildings in East Harlem. Fine said he plans to start construction in September.
The site sits along second phase of the Second Avenue subway, which will extend the line from 96th Street to 125th Street where it will connect to the Metro-North Railroad. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority this summer said it will need to acquire properties at East 106th, 116th and 125th streets for subway stations.
The project, which still needs federal funding, is expected to be completed between 2027 and 2029.
The first phase of the Second Avenue subway, which opened Jan. 1, 2017 following decades of delays, has already spurred development along its path.
Fine, meanwhile, said he’s bought five properties in the Bronx and Manhattan since launching Bolivar Development earlier this year. He’s been active recently in the Bronx – particularly around Jerome Avenue, where he’s snapped up properties as the city rezoned the gritty neighborhood.
The new properties are not a part of Atlantic Development Group, a company through which Fine has been embroiled in several legal disputes with company co-founder Marc Altheim.
Altheim sued him several times over the past few years. Among the allegations, Altheim last year claimed his partner improperly diverted proceeds from selling 421a certificates.
Altheim stepped away from the day-to-day operations at the company in 2011 and retains a 20 percent ownership stake. Fine owns the other 80 percent.