Billy Macklowe in contract for contested Park Slope site

Residents have opposed plans for demolition of the grocery store at 120 Fifth Avenue

Jan.January 29, 2020 09:35 AM
Billy Macklowe and 120 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Billy Macklowe and 120 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Billy Macklowe has gone into contract to buy a controversial Park Slope development site.

The developer has partnered with investor David Welsh to buy the Key Food grocery store at 120 Fifth Avenue for “less than $65 million,” according to the New York Post. Macklowe has reportedly been negotiating for the site since at least December.

The property, which would mark Macklowe’s first residential project in Brooklyn, is expected to be demolished and redeveloped into two residential buildings with 165 units at a cost of $140 million. The 300,000-square-foot redevelopment will also include a 90,000-square-foot retail space containing a grocery store and 220 parking spaces.

Welsh is the co-founder of Normandy Real Estate Partners, which was just acquired by Columbia Property Trust. He has launched a new firm, Senlac Ridge Partners, with former Normandy execs Finn Wentworth and Giorgios Vlamis. But it wasn’t clear if the firm is Macklowe’s partner on the deal.

The property has been a flashpoint for residents who have rallied against the current owner and opposed development at the site at the risk of losing a major grocery store.

The seller, Avery Hall Investments, bought the property from Pick Quick Food for $46 million in 2017. Avery Hall secured a zoning variance to modify a 1981 Urban Renewal Plan covering the site, which requires a grocery store on the property.

Doug Harmon and Adam Spies at Cushman & Wakefield brokered the deal.

After residents opposed the plans, the developers signed a cooperation agreement and committed to allocating 25 percent of the project’s units as affordable rentals. But the agreement only remains in effect until 2022, after which the agreement will revert to the property’s underlying zoning, no longer requiring a grocery store or affordable units.

The deal is expected to close later this year, the Post reported. [NYP] — David Jeans 

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