Mahfar, Halpern selling new LES rental building for $61M

Gili Haberberg’s Arkar in contract for East Houston St. property built in 2015

331 East Houston Street and Samy Mahfar
331 East Houston Street and Samy Mahfar

Samy Mahfar’s SMA Equities and Halpern Real Estate Ventures are in contract to sell a 13-story Lower East Side rental building they developed two years ago, sources told The Real Deal.

Gili Haberberg, a multifamily investor who runs Arkar Inc., is paying about $61 million for the 67,600-square-foot elevator building at 331 East Houston Street, located between Attorney and Ridge streets, said sources familiar with the negotiations.

The new-development rental, known as jones l.e.s, has 78 apartments – 80 percent of which are market-rate and the rest affordable. StreetEasy data show the market-rate rents range from $2,786 per month for a studio to $9,994 per month for a three-bedroom penthouse.

Haberberg is expected to close in June on the purchase, which comes out to roughly $900 per square foot, sources said.

In 2012, the developers acquired two parcels for $8.4 million from the estate of William Gottlieb and the other two for $4 million from landlord Michael Albano. The project was said to cost about $40 million — $26.1 million of which came from Signature Bank and the rest the developers invested. Sources said Haberberg is making the purchase as part of a 1031 exchange with rental properties he is selling in the Bronx.

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Marcus & Millichap’s Peter Von Der Ahe and Joe Koicim are brokering the deal. The brokers and SMA declined to comment, and neither Halpern nor Arkar could be immediately reached.

Haberberg’s Upper East Side-based property management company Arkar owns a mix of rental properties in Manhattan and the Bronx. In recent years, Haberberg has done more selling than buying. He parted ways with a 221,000-square-foot Bronx building for $33.7 million in November, and two Hamilton Heights buildings for a combined $68 million in 2015.

Halpern, led by Jon Halpern, is also active in Miami and is one of the developers of the 30-story, Renzo Piano-designed condominium at 565 Broome Street, which has a projected sellout of north of $650 million.

Mahfar, an active Lower East Side landlord, agreed earlier this month to settle tenant harassment claims with the New York state Attorney General’s office.

(To view more commercial sales transactions on the Lower East Side, click here)