The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn’s investment sales market saw more than $7B in deals last year

Total marked a 15% increase from 2017’s dollar volume
By Eddie Small | January 23, 2019 01:20PM

A wide shot of Starrett City in Brooklyn (Credit: Rockpoint Group)

Property trades in Brooklyn followed the same direction as the city’s broader investment sales market: up.

The borough saw $7.4 billion in total dollar volume in 2018, a 15 percent increase from 2017, according to TerraCRG’s annual report on the borough. This marks an end to a two-year decline in dollar volume in the borough.

Transaction volume continued to slide, however, with 1,197 commercial deals taking place throughout the year. This was a 12 percent drop from 2017 and a 37 percent drop from 2015, which was the peak of the market.

The year ended on a strong note, as more than 20 percent of transactions closed during the fourth quarter.

The largest deal of the year was the sale of 1155 Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York — the Spring Creek Towers — which went for about $870 million. The building is part of Starrett City, which Brooksville Company and Rockpoint Group purchased last year from Starrett City Associates. That was the second largest portfolio sale in the city last year, according to an analysis by The Real Deal.  And it made up almost 12 percent of the borough’s total dollar volume.

The second largest deal was the $303 million sale of 100 Ferris Street in Red Hook, while the $170 million sale of 90 Sands Street in Downtown Brooklyn took third place. UPS purchased the Red Hook site from Sitex Group, and the affordable housing nonprofit Breaking Ground bought a Downtown Brooklyn site from Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty.

Downtown Brooklyn was the region with the most activity by dollar volume with about $2.2 billion in total, while Central Brooklyn was the region with the most activity by transactions at 233, according to the report.

Brooklyn’s multifamily market was on top by dollar volume with about $2.6 billion worth of transactions, while the boroughs’ mixed-use market was on top by number of transactions at 415.

TerraCRG founder Ofer Cohen said the Starrett City deal had a big impact on the Brooklyn sales market this year, but he did not view it as particularly abnormal, noting that the borough generally sees at least one massive transaction each year.

“Every year there’s one big portfolio, one big trade that is part of the story,” he said. “It was the Jehovah’s Witnesses portfolio, and now it’s Starrett City.”