Citibank sells six NYC bank locations

Citibank sold six properties in Upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs for $12.3 million last week in a leaseback arrangement with an Irish real estate development company, according to property records posted today.

The properties were part of a portfolio that was being marketed a year ago that included at least a dozen buildings, several real estate professionals said.

Markland Holdings Limited bought the Citibank retail branches in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, and signed leases with the bank on each property for 15 years, with options to extend for another 30 years.

The properties went into contract in March and the sales closed April 15. The struggling American bank sold an Inwood property at 4249 Broadway for $4.3 million; 38-18 Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside for $2.1 million; 133-07 Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park for $1.98 million; 51-10 Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood for $1.12 million; 5324 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn for $1.8 million; and 550 Hunt’s Point Avenue in the Bronx for $1.03 million.

Citibank also sold a two-story Manhattan bank location at 1512 First Avenue to John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Real Estate for $5.4 million, going into contract and closing on the same day, April 9. The bank executed a similar 15-year lease with Red Apple Real Estate.

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Cory Zelnik, president and CEO of Zelnik Co., a real estate market analyst, said companies often enter into leaseback sales to raise cash quickly.

Ken Hillman, director of sales in Woodside and Long Island City for Massey Knakal Realty Services, said the $2.1 million price for the one-story Sunnyside property was about half the going rate.

“I would have gotten over $4 million for this piece,” he said, speaking about the 15,000-square-foot site in the center of the neighborhood. He speculated the price was reduced because the lease, too, was reduced.

“Citibank possibly did a leaseback at half the market rent,” Hillman said.

Citibank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Citibank has been inking far larger leaseback deals in Manhattan, including a $1.58 billion deal signed in December for its headquarters for investments and corporate banking at 388-390 Greenwich Street to a joint venture of SL Green and Canadian investment firm SITQ.

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