Brooklyn development site tops 2019’s most-expensive list

TF Cornerstone’s Pacific Park buy and Sam Chang’s Midtown deal top this year’s list

Dec.December 27, 2019 12:30 PM
From left: 150 West 48th Street, 615-595 Dean Street and 141 East 47th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

From left: 150 West 48th Street, 595-615 Dean Street and 141 East 47th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

From Brooklyn’s delayed Pacific Park megaproject to a large piece of dirt in Midtown, these were the most expensive development sites to trade hands in 2019.

1. 595-615 Dean Street | $143M
Buyer: TF Cornerstone
Seller: Greenland Forest City
Brokerage: CBRE

Things haven’t gone as planned at the massive Pacific Park complex in Brooklyn. Developer Greenland Forest City has acknowledged that the project will not be finished until 2035. And while observers have speculate that the developer will miss a state-mandated deadline to build 2,250 of the project’s affordable units by 2025, Greenland Forest City insists it’s on track to meet the deadline.

And now the developer is selling off sites to other developers. In February, TF Cornerstone paid $143 million to pick up two of the complex’s development sites, with plans to build two towers with a total of 798 apartments, 8,400 square feet of commercial space and 455 parking spots.

2. 150 West 48th Street | $140M
Buyer: McSam Hotel Group
Seller: Rockefeller Group
Brokerage: JLL

Does Sam Chang have one last big hotel project in him?

The prolific hotel developer announced his plans to retire earlier this year when the city passed new restrictions on developing hotels in manufacturing zones. But in October, Chang laid out $140 million to buy this Midtown Site between Sixth and Seventh avenues, where he plans to build a 34-story, 974-key hotel. Plans filed this week call for the building to be about 300,000 square feet.

A JLL team led by Bob Knakal brokered the deal on behalf of the seller, Rockefeller Group, which had spent years assembling the site.

S3 Capital Partners provided Chang with a $250 million acquisition and construction loan for the development in December.

3. 131-141 East 47th Street | $115M
Buyer: Hopson Development Holdings
Seller: New Empire Real Estate Development
Brokerage: N/A

Hong Kong-based Hopson Development Holdings picked up this Midtown site, where it plans to build a 34-story tower. It is the second stalled development site on this list.

The previous owner, Bentley Zhao’s New Empire Real Estate Development, paid $81 million for the property in 2015. Zhao had originally planned to build a 49-story tower, but later decided on a smaller project — and did not build that one either.

4. East 56th Street and Lexington Avenue | $103.7M
Buyer: MRR Development, Zahi Hagag
Seller: Kiska Development
Brokerage: JLL

A development group led by Rotem Rosen paid all cash for this development site just off Billionaires’ Row.

MRR Development, Rosen’s development firm with Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra, and Zahi Hagag, Israel’s largest developer, paid roughly $590 per square foot for the site. The property sits at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 56th Street, with a sliver reaching East 57th Street.

A JLL team led by Mo Beler, Glenn Tolchin, Anthony Ledesma and Yoav Oelsner brokered the deal for the seller, Turkish development firm Kiska Development.

5. 313-331 Bond Street | $95M
Buyer: Rabsky Group
Seller: Yoel Goldman
Brokerage: N/A

From one Brooklyn heavyweight to another.

Yoel Goldman’s All Year Management sold this Gowanus development site to the Rabsky Group, which offers up about 185,000 square feet of development rights.

Goldman had paid about $330 per square foot when it bought the property in July 2018. Just a few months later it sold to Simon Dushinsky and Isaac Rabinowitz’s Rabsky Group at about $513 per square foot.

A major rezoning in the works is expected to pave the way for some 8,200 new apartments in Gowanus by 2035.


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