Rabsky ditches plans for first Manhattan project

Opal pays $23M for EV site once slated for 15-story rental

The former building at 644-652 East 14th Street in the East Village
The former building at 644-652 East 14th Street in the East Village

UPDATED, Sept. 21, 11:45 a.m.: Rabsky Group scrapped plans for its first Manhattan project, deciding instead to sell its East Village development site for $23 million, according to property records filed with the city Tuesday.

Opal Holdings, a real estate investment firm led by Shaya and Shulamit Prager, closed last month on the vacant site at 644-652 East 14th Street, just southeast of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village complex.

At the time of the purchase, Opal also scored a $52 million acquisition and construction loan from Madison Realty Capital [TRData], records show.

Rabsky, a firm headed by Simon Dushinsky and Isaac Rabinowitz is one of Brooklyn’s most active residential developers. It  paid $15 million in 2014 for the site, and demolished a one-story warehouse there to make way for a 15-story, 62,000-square-foot rental to be designed by architect Karl Fischer. The project was slated to hold 50 apartments and a five-story community facility.

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There has been no progress on the project since the Department of Buildings issued permits in January 2016.

Instead of developing the site, Rabsky quietly looked to sell it, sources said. It was Rabsky’s sole asset in Manhattan, as its holdings are largely in outer-borough neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Long Island City.

The site has an alternate address of 221-229 Avenue C.

Representatives for Rabsky and Opal could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rabsky is currently developing a 500-unit rental on part of the Rheingold Brewery site in Bushwick and a 195-unit rental at 42-20 27th Street in Long Island City.

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