Solow sells portion of East River site to city for $33M

Developer Sheldon Solow sold a small piece of his 9.2-acre East River
development site to the city’s School Construction Authority for
$33.25 million.

The parcel at the northeast corner of First Avenue and 35th Street is
about a third of a complete block he owns through his East River
Realty Company. Although part of the larger $4 billion East River
development plan, it is two blocks south of the largest parcel in the
project that runs on the east side of First Avenue between 38th and
41st streets.

The city signed the contract and closed on the purchase of the
23,581-square-foot parcel Dec. 23, city property records published
today say. The deed did not provide a street address, but identified
the property as lot 2 on block 967.

The zoning on the approximately half-acre lot permits a 10 floor area
ratio, city records show, that allows building up to 235,810 square
feet, putting the price at about $141 per foot.

City schools spokesperson Marge Feinberg said in an e-mail that it was
difficult to locate new schools.

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“Available space is a challenge in the city and the [School
Construction Authority] always is looking to secure space for needed
school sites,” she said in the e-mail.

An additional property record filed with the city shows that the School Construction Authority plans to complete the new public school by 2013.

Jonathan Caplan, executive vice president in the capital markets group
of commercial service firm Cushman & Wakefield and had nothing to do
with the deal, noted that it was an end-user who bought the site in a
period of few transactions.

“It is interesting. It is hard to say if it is above market, because
there are no land sales to point to,” he said, adding, “it sounds like
Sheldon got lucky.”

Just last month, Solow won a ruling from a state court against the
state which now may have to pay $250 million to Solow for the cleanup
of the former Con Edison site.

Solow was not immediately available for comment.