Civic Builders, which finances and builds school buildings for charter school networks, purchased a 28,000-square-foot school building at 720 Livonia Avenue in New Lots for $11.5 million. David Umansky, CEO of Civic Builders, signed for the buyer, limited liability company Civic Saratoga.
The building was last purchased for $4.9 million in 2015 by two limited liability companies formed by controversial real estate figure Chaskiel Strulowitz (also known as Cheskel Strulovitch). Civic Builders bought the building at auction after a lender initiated bankruptcy proceedings against Strulowitz in 2019.
Crain’s reported in 2012 that Strulowitz began buying northern Brooklyn properties more than 20 years ago, leasing a three-story former loudspeaker factory on the Williamsburg waterfront in 1998 and converting it into 46 loft apartments, only to lose his 13-year lease when it expired.
The Livonia Avenue deal was the only investment sale recorded last week in New York City between $10 million and $30 million, although a parcel of land adjacent to the LaGuardia Marriott hotel sold for $17 million as part of a $100 million-plus deal for the hotel itself. In the week prior, two such sales were recorded, totalling $34.2 million.