PNC lends art storage company $57M for Bushwick buy

Uovo plans to renovate 150K-sf warehouse

TRD New York /
Feb.February 08, 2019 12:20 PM

Steven Guttman of Uovo and 105 Evergreen Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Uovo and Google Maps)

PNC Bank is helping Steven Guttman’s fine art storage company with its acquisition and renovation of a Brooklyn warehouse.

The lender provided about $57.4 million to Uovo to finance its purchase and renovation of 105 Evergreen Avenue in Bushwick, according to a filing recorded with the city’s finance department. Steve Novenstein, Uovo’s CEO, declined to comment on the terms of the financing.

The debt closed in December, around the time Uovo purchased the two-story, roughly 150,000-square-foot property for $47 million. Kassin Sabbagh Realty brokered that deal, which prices out to about $313 per square foot.

PNC Bank declined to comment on the deal.

The storage company also secured a partnership with the New York City Industrial Development Agency that provided incentives to help make the deal happen, Novenstein said.

Prices for land and space — especially for last-mile industrial sites — continues to rise around the city, Novenstein said. “It made it economically feasible,” he said of the deal.

This location will be Uovo’s fourth in New York. Uovo plans to renovate the warehouse to fit the needs of art and design collectors and the fashion industry, among others. It’s expected to open in the fall. The project’s costs are roughly $76.5 million. Renovation work includes insulating the building’s roof and creating the ideal climate to store fine works of art, Novenstein said.

While Uovo caters to a more specialized customer base, the self-storage industry overall has seen rents rise in the city amid increased demand, according to a recent market report from research firm Yardi Matrix.

Some developers are looking to tap into this need for more space.

Queens-based developer Criterion Group, headed by Shibber Khan, has filed plans to construct a nine-story self-storage facility in Long Island City. The move marks a departure from the company’s usual multifamily plays.

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