Residential project to rise on Williamsburg flea market site

Richardson Street plot trades for $18 million

One of the last viable sites for a residential development in Williamsburg has sold and will be redeveloped as a large-scale residential project, sources told The Real Deal.

The 50,000-square-foot site at 88 Richardson Street has at least 150,000 buildable square feet and sold at a price per square foot that means the only profitable route for the new owner — who was identified only as 88 Richardson LLC — would be to build a new residential complex on the site, which lies just south of McCarren Park.

Neil Dolgin, whose firm, Kalmon Dolgin, brokered the sale, added that the owner could further expand the buildable square footage, if affordable housing were to be added to the proposed development. With its MX-8 designation, for mixed-use space in addition to the residential zoning, the developer would have the option of including retail or restaurants on the ground floor of the new building.

Currently, the site is a vacant commercial building, and Dolgin noted that the Meeker Avenue flea market on the grounds was “winding down.” The market had been in the space for about two years, and announced earlier this year that it would be leaving, after their landlord suffered financial setbacks due to a personal injury lawsuit, according to published reports.

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The seller was Michael Riccotta, Dolgin said. Riccotta was not immediately available for comment.

While Dolgin would not reveal who the developers are, he said they were “not a household name but they are knowledgeable, and bought it because it’s one of the last remaining large plots on the north side of Williamsburg.” That area was rezoned in 2005, and has since seen an influx of residential development. Demand in the area has been strong, however, with nearby rental building 111 Kent Avenue selling for a record price of $56 million ($900,000 per unit) earlier this year.

While it is not yet known if the project would be condominiums or rentals, the construction is slated to begin in the next 12 to 24 months, according to Bruce Sturman, managing director at the Maxal Group, the first mortgage lender on the building.

Robert Klein represented both sides in the transaction, a Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates spokesperson said.