Simon Development snaps up LIC site for $15M

Jonathan Simon and 45-40 Vernon Boulevard
Jonathan Simon and 45-40 Vernon Boulevard

Simon Development Group, a Park Avenue-based developer of residential high-rises, has acquired a Long Island City industrial building for $14.7 million, more than four times the amount for which it last traded, according to property records filed with the city yesterday. Jonathan Simon, the company’s CEO, declined to comment on his firm’s plans for the building.

The property, at 45-40 Vernon Boulevard near Hunters Point, was previously owned by local investors Richard Wissak and Jerry Nazari, who acquired it for $3.3 million in 2011.

Following the 2011 sale, the site became the subject of a lawsuit filed by Wissak and Nazari against would-be real estate developer Brent Carrier. Carrier allegedly convinced the two investors to fork out millions to partner in a commercial development he never built at the site. Instead, he allegedly lavished the funds on his personal expenses, according to a complaint filed by the owners in January.

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Of the $4.25 million invested by Wissak and Nazari in the project, $3.3 million was spent on the acquisition of the site and more than $700,000 was used by Carrier for personal expenses or was transferred by Carrier to other accounts, the suit claims. An attorney for Wissak and Nazari said the litigation had been settled about a month ago.

Wissak and Nazari could not be reached for comment.

The acquisition of the property comes just months after Simon sold off its interest in a Long Island city residential complex at 41-17 Crescent Street. A partnership between the company and Meadow Partners sold the building to investor Charles Dayan for $85 million in July, it was previously reported.

The Vernon Boulevard lot totals 33,150 square feet and currently houses a 69,550-square-foot industrial building, according to PropertyShark. The building was formerly used as a paint factory.