Treetop sells South Bronx development site because offer was too good to pass up

Domain Companies paid $40M for plot in Mott Haven
By Eddie Small | April 29, 2019 06:00PM

Treetop Development's Adam Mermelstein and a rendering of 414 Gerard Avenue (Credit: Woods Bagot)

Treetop Development’s Adam Mermelstein and a rendering of 414 Gerard Avenue (Credit: Woods Bagot)

UPDATED, 2:30 p.m., April 30: Domain Companies is the proud new owner of Treetop Development’s South Bronx development site.

The firm paid a total of $38.5 million for the Mott Haven sites at 440 Exterior Street, 121 East 144th Street and 445 and 417 Gerard Avenue, according to property records. This marks a healthy profit for Treetop, which had paid $21.1 million for the sites in 2016, records show.

Treetop was planning to construct an 11- and a 14-story building on the sites in a roughly $160 million development project. The 11-story building would contain 134 units, and the 14-story building would contain about 300 units. Both properties would have been a mixture of affordable and market-rate housing.

The Domain Companies plans to build a roughly 430,000-square-foot mixed-use project on the site, and at least 25 percent of the residential units should be affordable, the firm announced on Monday.

The company financed its purchase with a $30 million loan from Centennial Bank and Sherwood Equities. HFF’s Chris Peck arranged the debt.

Treetop’s Azi Mandel said his firm was still a big believer in the South Bronx, but the offer they got for the development site was simply too good to pass up.

“We just felt that, at the time, it was worthwhile to sell based on the price that we were offered,” he said. “Having said that, we’re still always looking in the South Bronx.”

David Behin of Newmark Knight Frank represented both sides in the transaction.

Domain Companies has also recently purchased multiple properties in Gowanus, including 420 Carroll Street for $47.5 million from Kevin Maloney’s Property Markets Group and 545 Sackett Street for $26.5 million.

Treetop’s other recent purchases include a four-building rental complex in Far Rockaway for $135 million and a pair of adjacent rental buildings in East Flatbush for $25 million.

This story has been updated to include information from The Domain Companies.