Workable City, Rabina Properties pick up Greenpoint loft complex for $33M

4-story rental property was once a factory

TRD New York /
Oct.October 09, 2019 06:20 PM
239 Banker Street and, from left: Workable City's Sara Willard, Rabina Properties' Josh Rabina and Workable City's Adam Heller

239 Banker Street and, from left: Workable City’s Sara Willard, Rabina Properties’ Josh Rabina and Workable City’s Adam Heller

A Greenpoint loft complex that had long been known for building violations traded hands for $33 million.

Workable City Development and Rabina Properties partnered to buy 239 Banker Street, securing $24 million in financing from M&T Bank, according to property records filed with the city Wednesday. The four-story, 69-unit rental complex had once been a factory and was illegally converted into apartments.

Josh Rabina, president of the family-run investment and development firm Rabina Properties, confirmed the partnership with Workable but declined to comment further. Representatives for Workable City and M&T Bank did not immediately return requests for comment.

The seller was an entity with Bruman Realty’s Joseph Brunner as manager. A message left with Bruman Realty also was not immediately returned.

The Brunner-managed company — 239 Holdings LLC — picked up site in April 2016 for $10.9 million, property records show. At the time, the entity took on $18.75 million in financing from Customers Bank.

The loft in 2012 was the subject of a New York Times article that detailed dozens of Department of Buildings violations there, ranging from lacking a certificate of occupancy to working without permits. A prior owner converted the property by using a loophole, though the city never gave the final OK for the project and that owner proceeded with the conversion anyway.

There aren’t any units at the complex on the market, but two four-bedroom apartments were up for rent in February, each with asking rent of roughly $3,700, per StreetEasy.

Workable City and Bruman have done business with each other before. In 2018, Workable picked up another property from Bruman: A two-story warehouse at 8-10 Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill for $20.6 million.

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