The Real Deal New York

Knotel planned to build in Gowanus. But now the site is hitting the market for $43M

EcoRise Development has tapped JLL to sell trio of parcels
By Eddie Small | March 06, 2019 01:30PM

An aerial of the site at 514 Union Street, 469 President Street, and 473 President Street in Gowanus (Credit: Google Maps)

A trio of adjacent sites in Gowanus was supposed to be the home of Knotel’s first ground-up development in the city. But that deal didn’t pan out, and the owners now hope to sell the properties for about $43 million.

EcoRise Development, headed by Michael and Cynthia Schlegel, has tapped JLL to market 514 Union Street, 469 President Street and 473 President Street. The sites allow for nearly 98,000 buildable square feet for as-of-right commercial development.

Knotel inked a deal late in 2017 to anchor a commercial project at 473 President Street that would span between 150,000 and 300,000 square feet, but the flex office provider is no longer involved with the properties. EcoRise had been working with Cogswell Lee—the partnership between Cogswell and Lee & Associates—and GLUCK+ on the development. Knotel also would have been a co-developer.

A JLL team including Brendan Maddigan, Stephen Palmese, Winfield Clifford, William Barrett, Michael Mazzara and Ethan Stanton will now oversee the effort to sell the sites.

Maddigan said in a statement that they would be a good fit for several different types of projects, including “retail value-add, ground-up commercial development or even ground-up residential development, potentially, as a result of a proposed rezoning.”

The long-awaited rezoning of Gowanus has recently started to move forward in earnest. The Department of City Planning has released a proposal that covers 80 blocks of the neighborhood by the Gowanus Canal and would allow for the construction of new mixed-use developments along the water.

However, some residents have already started pushing back on the plan, arguing that the city should first invest more resources in public housing.

The properties on the sites currently span roughly 51,000 square feet and include the popular Royal Palms Shuffleboard Court at 514 Union Street, which still has a few years left on its lease. The business would like to stay at this location for the long term, according to JLL.