Rotem Rosen-led partnership buying development site off Billionaires’ Row

MRR Development chief teams up with Israeli developer Zahi Hagag on $104M purchase
By Rich Bockmann | April 18, 2019 03:05PM

From left: Rotem Rosen of MRR Development, Anand Mahindra of Mahindra Group, Zahi Hagag of Hagag Group, and a rendering of 126 East 57th Street (Credit: Getty Images)

From left: Rotem Rosen of MRR Development, Anand Mahindra of Mahindra Group, Zahi Hagag of Hagag Group, and a rendering of 126 East 57th Street (Credit: Getty Images)

A partnership led by Rotem Rosen and Israel’s largest developer, Zahi Hagag, is making a play near Billionaires’ Row.

Rosen and Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra’s MRR Development is teaming up with Hagag to buy a development site for $103.7 million, sources told The Real Deal. The buyers signed a contract for the site Thursday, and plan to purchase it with all cash.

The assemblage consists of 13 parcels concentrated at the southeast corner of East 56th Street and Lexington Avenues. One parcel stretches out to Billionaires’ Row at 126 East 57th Street. All told, the site holds about 175,000 square feet of development rights.

The seller is Turkish development firm Kiska Development, which spent about $64 million assembling the site beginning in 2011.

Turkey’s economy went into recession last year, and the country’s lira has fallen drastically against the dollar, which may have been a motivating factor for Kiska to sell.

The purchase price works out to roughly $590 per square foot, a sharp discount to where other development sites in the area traded at the peak of the market. Across the street, Hines and real estate investment trust Welltower paid rough $1,030 per square foot in 2016 when they bought a development site at 139 East 56th Street for $115 million.

The new owners are planning to build a residential tower a block away from Harry Macklowe and CIM Group’s 432 Park Avenue, with a basis of about $1,600 per square foot, according a source familiar with the partnership’s plans.

A JLL team of Mo Beler, Glenn Tolchin, Anthony Ledesma and Yoav Oelsner brokered the deal for the seller, with JLL’s Aaron Appel advising on financing.