Charter school developer buys Brooklyn site out of bankruptcy

Civic Builders scoops up New Lots building after failed Strulowitz development

New York /
Feb.February 22, 2021 02:30 PM
David Umansky of Civic Builders and 720 Livonia Ave in Brooklyn (Photos via Google Maps, Civic Builders)

David Umansky of Civic Builders and 720 Livonia Ave in Brooklyn (Photos via Google Maps, Civic Builders)

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.

A 2017 lawsuit accusing Strulowitz of a Ponzi-type scheme is in arbitration, records show. Brownstoner connected him to an affordable housing project in Bushwick called Knickerbocker Lofts.

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.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Clockwise from top left: 162 West 13th Street, 325 Avenue Y in Brooklyn, 1281 Viele Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps)
    Here’s what the $10M-$30M NYC investment sales market looked like last week
    Here’s what the $10M-$30M NYC investment sales market looked like last week
    Leonard Stern with Wyndham Garden Hotel Newark Airport (Getty, Hotels Combined)
    Hartz buys Newark Airport hotel for $34M, plans demolition
    Hartz buys Newark Airport hotel for $34M, plans demolition
    50 Pennsylvania Avenue (LinkedIn, Pennrose)
    Supermarket nabs 20K sf at Pennrose project in Brooklyn
    Supermarket nabs 20K sf at Pennrose project in Brooklyn
    REAL NY's Louis Adler, Compass' Eugene Litvak, and ROART's Ran Oron with the Milk Factory (REAL New York, Compass, ROART, Milk Factory)
    East Williamsburg’s resi market reaches new heights
    East Williamsburg’s resi market reaches new heights
    61-01 Springfield Avenue in Bayside with Skyline Properties’ Robert Khodadadian and Daniel Shirazi (Google Maps)
    Bayside shopping center goes for $32M to lead mid-market sales
    Bayside shopping center goes for $32M to lead mid-market sales
    Toby Moskovits with the Williamsburg Hotel (Sasha Maslov, Google Maps)
    Eastdil and A&G seek to broker sale of bankrupt Williamsburg Hotel
    Eastdil and A&G seek to broker sale of bankrupt Williamsburg Hotel
    A photo illustration of One John Street (left) and 79 Second Place (right) in Brooklyn (Douglas Elliman, Front Inc., Getty Images)
    Brooklyn’s top deal last week? Just $6M
    Brooklyn’s top deal last week? Just $6M
     SL Green’s Marc Holliday with 450 Park Avenue  (Taconic Partners, SL Green)
    TRD Pro: Here are NYC’s biggest offices sales of Q2
    TRD Pro: Here are NYC’s biggest offices sales of Q2
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...