Here’s a weird one: David Marx plans towers at Queens site he bought from his own company

Building would be the borough’s tallest outside of Long Island City

TRD New York /
Aug.August 14, 2019 05:30 PM
David Marx of MDG Real Estate and the site at 71-05 Parsons Boulevard in Queens (Credit: Google Images and iStock)

David Marx of MDG Real Estate and the site at 71-05 Parsons Boulevard in Queens (Credit: Google Images and iStock)

So much for “no desire to develop.”

Weeks after announcing the sale of a 2.4-acre eastern Queens development site to… himself, MDG Real Estate’s David Marx has filed plans for what would be the borough’s tallest building outside of Long Island City.

Plans prefiled with the Department of Buildings on Tuesday call for a 400-foot-tall structure consisting of “two residential towers, 37 stories each” with four floors of underground parking. The 717,000-square-foot complex with an address of 71-12 Park Avenue will include 488 apartments.

Marx did not respond to a request for comment.

MDG’s Israeli bondholders voted in May to approve an “exceptional” transaction in which the firm’s British Virgin Islands-registered bond-issuing holding company would sell two parcels of vacant land to Marx himself.

Series B bondholders approved the deal with 79.51 percent of votes cast in favor, while Series C bondholders approved it with 96.12 percent of the vote, according to Tel Aviv Stock Exchange filings.

On Aug. 4, MDG announced that the sale had been completed, but New York City property records do not yet show any transfer of real property.

The new plans represent a stark contrast to MDG’s disclosures from earlier this year, according to which the “owner and the board of directors have no desire to develop said real estate at this time” due to a lack of “the economic capacity to develop real estate of this order of magnitude.”

This latest twist aside, the firm’s plans for the site have varied greatly over the years. In 2012, MDG received special permits allowing it to build an eight-story, 165,990-square-foot nursing home with 298 beds on the western half of the site facing Parsons Boulevard, pending a hazardous material inspection. City property records indicate that those special permits have since lapsed.

More recently, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange disclosures from 2017 say that the firm was considering a 258,000-square foot, 250-unit rental building on the western half and a nursing home on the eastern half facing Park Avenue.

But last year, MDG said an architect discovered that the two parcels could potentially support more than twice as much square footage as originally believed. The firm said it decided to sell the land to Marx after it was unable to formalize those additional rights and then failed to find a buyer at a “fair price.”

According to Tel Aviv Stock Exchange filings and city property records, the $54 million Marx paid for the development site was first used to pay off a $11 million mortgage from Berkshire Bank, while the remainder was transferred to the company to fund interest and principal payments on the two bond series.

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