Goldman reactivates real estate platform in NYC with big DoBro buy

Bank will pay $100M for 1 Flatbush Avenue property

New York /
May.May 04, 2020 01:02 PM
Goldman CEO David Solomon and 1 Flatbush Avenue (Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images; Hill West Architects)

Goldman CEO David Solomon and 1 Flatbush Avenue (Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images; Hill West Architects)

Goldman Sachs is buying one of Downtown Brooklyn’s newly-completed apartment towers  — the bank’s first big New York City purchase as it revives its once-active real estate platform.

The bank is in contract to buy the 19-story 1 Flatbush Avenue building from Slate Property Group and Meadow Partners for about $100 million, sources familiar with the transaction told The Real Deal. The purchase is just for the residential part of the building, and doesn’t include a retail component that was also on offer when the property hit the market last year with a $150 million price tag.

The pricing works out to about $550,000 for each of the building’s 183 rental units.

Representatives for Goldman and Slate declined to comment, and a representative for Meadow did not immediately respond. A Cushman & Wakefield team of Adam Spies, Doug Harmon, Adam Doneger and Dan O’Brien brokered the sale. A representative for the team declined to comment.

The deal is Goldman Sachs’ first big purchase in New York City since it reawakened its dormant real estate investment program last year with a $2.5 billion fund aimed at buying properties in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Goldman set the blueprint for opportunistic real estate investment with its Whitehall Street funds, which over the course of three decades raised $22 billion in capital and purchased assets like Rockefeller Center and Canada’s Cadillac Fairview Corp.

But Whitehall’s exuberance proved to be its undoing. The business’ $4.5 billion Whitehall Global Real Estate 2007 fund put together some overleveraged deals at the height of the boom preceding the Great Recession, such as its $1.8 billion purchase of the 132-property Equity Inns hotel portfolio, according to PERE News.

“This was a poster child for everything done wrong: paid too much and over-levered,” one executive familiar with the fund told the publication.

Whitehall eventually sold the business for a negligible return to American Realty Capital Trust in 2015, but by that time it had long abandoned investing in real estate since the sting of the 2008 downturn. Goldman let Whitehall quietly fade away, but last year the bank reorganized its real estate investment unit as part of a broader restructuring put in place by new CEO David Solomon.

Slate and Meadow finished construction on 1 Flatbush Avenue in 2018. The building has a 25-year 421a tax abatement that expires in 2044.

Elsewhere in Brooklyn, Rockrose Development recently closed on an $81 million all-cash purchase of a development site at the edge of Downtown and Fort Greene. And Billy Macklowe and David Welsh bought the Key Foods development site in Park Slope for $51 million – a deal negotiated by the same Cushman team that sold 1 Flatbush.

Contact Rich Bockmann at [email protected] or 908-415-5229.


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