JDS sells Gowanus rental building for $37.8M

From left: Bob Knakal, a rendering of 202 8th Street and Michael Stern
From left: Bob Knakal, a rendering of 202 8th Street and Michael Stern

JDS Development and Property Markets Group have sold 202 8th Street to Werber Management for $37.75 million, after nearly fully leasing out the luxury Gowanus rental building.

The 12-story, 50,000-square-foot building has 51 rental units — all but four currently occupied — and a 15-year tax abatement. The deal, which closed yesterday, gives Brooklyn’s “rental tenants an opportunity to live in a very high-end condo product,” Benjamin Werber, a managing member of the Queens-based construction and management firm, told The Real Deal, referring to the buildings’ amenities and finishes that are more characteristic of condominium projects. “We look forward to adding it to our growing portfolio.”

Michael Stern, JDS’ managing partner, said that the building “set a new standard for luxury rental buildings in Brooklyn and we are proud to have developed it.” The sale, he said, was part of their business plan and the buyers would be able to enjoy a long-term “trophy asset.”

Massey Knakal Realty Services’ Bob Knakal and Elysa Berlin brokered the deal, which Knakal described as “a tremendous show of confidence in Brooklyn and shows that the borough is catching up to Manhattan.” He added that he expected a number of multifamily asset sales in the $1,000 per square foot range in coming years.

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Representatives from Property Markets Group weren’t immediately available for comment.

JDS and PMG bought the site in March 2008, paying a total of about $5.8 million for both lots, as The Real Deal reported. Their plans were brought to a pause by the financial crisis, but they restarted construction in May 2011, and JDS later made the decision to go with rentals. Given that it was originally intended as a condo development, the building has amenities such as a private landscaped courtyard, private outdoor spaces, a built-in barbeque and a fitness center.

In May, Werber paid Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group $25 million for a Financial District property at 254 Front Street, as The Real Deal reported.