Harry Silverstein’s estate looks to sell real estate assets after landlord’s death

A&E in talks to pay $275M for 800 units across 3 boroughs

3971 Gouverneur Avenue in the Bronx (inset: Douglas Eisenberg)
3971 Gouverneur Avenue in the Bronx (inset: Douglas Eisenberg)

Over a lifetime, Harry Silverstein amassed hundreds of rentals apartments in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Many of the acquisitions date back to the 1960s. Now, shortly after his death, the valuable portfolio is in play, and one of the most voracious buyers of multifamily properties is making its move.

A&E Real Estate Holdings is in talks to acquire the 14-building, 800-plus-unit portfolio still belonging to the Silverstein family for $275 million, or nearly $350,000 per unit, sources told The Real Deal.

Sources said there are no brokers involved in the negotiations. If A&E [TRDataCustom] is able to lock in a deal, it would enter contract on the buildings by early next year, they said.

The Mill Basin-based landlord’s buildings come with a lot of baggage. In October, he ranked at the top of the New York City Public Advocate’s annual worst landlords list with more than 2,000 violations on eight of his buildings. He took the No. 2 spot in 2015. The list ranks 100 landlords by the number of outstanding violations they have with city agencies.

A spokesperson for the Public Advocate Letitia James’ office said the office was unaware of his death.

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Today, the properties are controlled by Harry’s son Eric. The addresses are 91-35 193rd Street, 87-40 165th Street and 39-30 59th Street in Queens; 3971 Gouverneur Avenue and 1555 Grand Concourse in the Bronx; 605 East 16th Street, 535 East 21st Street, 488 Rockaway Parkway, 429 Mayfair Drive South, 261 Lenox Road, 250 Parkville Avenue, 2005 Albemarle Road, 141 Lenox Road and 1130 Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, property records show.

A&E declined to comment, while Silverstein’s family did not respond to requests for comment.

A&E already bought one of Silverstein’s buildings, a 144-unit rental building at 94-02 35th Avenue in Jackson Heights, for $22 million last year.

The investment firm, led by Douglas Eisenberg and John Arrillaga Jr., just entered contract for a five-building Brooklyn portfolio for $89 million, as TRD reported Thursday.

If the deal were to close at $275 million, it would be one of the priciest multifamily trades of the past year. Fairstead Capital closed on the $315 million purchase of Savoy Park in July. Two other large deals are approaching closing: Blackstone Group’s $620 million purchase of Kips Bay Court and Isaac Kassirer’s purchase of the Dawnay Day portfolio for north of $350 million.

Adam Pincus contributed reporting.