Travis Kalanick said last year he was getting into real estate. Here’s what he’s buying in New York.

Venture bought at least four commercial spaces

Feb.February 04, 2019 08:30 AM

From left: 376 Broadway, 66 Leonard Street, Travis Kalanick, and 27-28 Thomson Avenue in Queens (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

City Storage Systems, the new real estate venture headed by former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, has been quietly scooping up properties throughout New York City.

The real estate holding company has picked up at least four commercial spaces around the city — three in Manhattan and one in Queens — for about $39 million, according to public records filed with the Department of Finance.

The documents were signed by Diego Berdakin, the manager of City Storage. Kalanick, Uber’s bad boy co-founder, joined as City Storage’s CEO last year.

The most recent buy, which closed last month, was roughly $9.3 million for space at the Mandarin Plaza at 376 Broadway in Tribeca from Premier Equities. City Storage then leased the space back to Premier for a 99-year term. The property currently has a Harley-Davidson outpost.

Goldman Sachs provided about $47 million in financing for the properties.

Kalanick and Goldman Sachs did not return requests for comment. Berdakin couldn’t be reached.

At least two of the acquisitions are parking garages. City Storage paid Laz Parking Realty Investors $10 million for one at 247 West 46th Street. The other, previously owned by Port Washington, New York-based BEB Capital, is a 200-plus garage in the Arris Lofts, located at 27-28 Thomson Avenue in Long Island City.

The fourth is more Tribeca commercial space, the “garage unit” housed in 66 Leonard Street, aka the Textile building. Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation sold the space for $10.5 million. It had bought the retail and garage units there in 2012 for $6.1 million.

Kalanick last year announced he was launching a fund called 10100 that would manage his personal wealth, and through which he would invest $150 million into L.A.-based City Storage. The holding company, founded by Berdakin, previously said it aims to target distressed assets in sectors like parking, retail and industrial, and then repurpose the spaces for digital-age businesses.

The venture marks the first since Kalanick suffered a fall from grace in 2017 when he was forced to step down from Uber amid a laundry list of scandals at the company.

Kalanick, whose ride-hailing service disrupted the taxi industry and — ironically — has been changing the needs for parking lots, has expressed interest in two of City Storage’s ventures, CloudKitchens and CloudRetail. Both business-to-business operations rent space to online-only retailers and restaurants.

Meanwhile, Kalanick isn’t just looking at commercial real estate plays in New York. He made another big purchase of his own in the city recently, snapping up a penthouse at 565 Broome Street in Soho for $36.4 million late last year.

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