Blackstone buys Bronx warehouse for $29M from controversial carter

One seller's family business collapsed after ProPublica exposé

New York /
Dec.December 19, 2019 10:39 AM
From left: Blackstone's Jonathan Gray, Joseph Simone of Simone Development and 535 Zerega Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps, Simone Development)

From left: Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray, Joseph Simone of Simone Development and 535 Zerega Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps, Simone Development)

Continuing its expansion of industrial real estate, the Blackstone Group scooped up a one-story warehouse in the Bronx that recently snagged Krispy Kreme as a tenant.

The private equity giant dropped $28.5 million on 535 Zerega Avenue in Castle Hill, property records show. The sellers were Simone Development Companies and an entity managed by Steven Squitieri, whose family ran the now-defunct garbage hauler Sanitation Salvage.

Blackstone and Simone declined to comment. Squitieri, whose company was the subject of a ProPublica and Voice of America investigation that underscored safety and labor concerns in the city’s private carting industry, couldn’t be reached. The Squitieri family closed the hauling operation in the wake of the exposé.

GFI Realty brokered the deal. The brokers were Erik Yankelovich, who has since left GFI to start his own firm, ARG Partners, and Zakary Levin.

The sellers picked up the site, on the waterfront and near another Simone industrial building at 1200 Zerega Avenue, for $1.2 million in 2013 from the city’s Economic Development Corporation. They filed an application less than a year later to construct a 74,250-square-foot warehouse there.

The property is leased to two tenants. Doughnut-maker Krispy Kreme inked a 26,486-square-foot lease at the building in June. The nonprofit New York Road Runners occupies the rest of the space.

Blackstone has been on an industrial tear of late. It struck a massive deal earlier this year to acquire a $19 billion national portfolio from Singapore-based entity GLP and said it was buying Colony Capital’s 60-million-square-foot portfolio for $5.9 billion.


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