Rabsky’s Pfizer development doubles in value to $186M

Rezoning for the site was approved in October

Rabsky Group’s proposed development at the former Pfizer site in Williamsburg has doubled in value, according to a report filed by Spencer Equity, a partner in the project, to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The valuation of the site jumped from $92 million to $186 million, after the City Planning Commission signed off on a rezoning of the site, allowing the developers to move forward with their plans for a 1.1 million-square-foot housing complex, according to the documents.

The eight-building complex will include 1,146 housing units, of which 287 will be permanently affordable, and 65,000 square feet of retail space.

According to Spencer’s year-end report for 2016, the site was valued at $91.3 million, and appreciated to $92.1 million in the third quarter of 2017. When the rezoning was approved, the site was reappraised in preparation for the 2017 year-end report, and valued at $186.3 million.

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Rabsky, led by Simon Dushinsky and Isaac Rabinowitz, and Joel Gluck’s Spencer Equity each own 50 percent of Harrison Realty LLC, which owns 97.5 percent of the project, according to the TASE documents.

The development, bounded by Harrison and Union avenues, is located in the South Williamsburg’s Broadway Triangle, an area that has been the subject of a decade-long dispute between the city and community groups concerned about gentrification.

Some of the groups, including the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition and Churches United for Fair Housing, are concerned that Rabsky’s development will benefit primarily the area’s Hasidic community and disadvantage other minorities.

It appeared that the long-running dispute had been resolved in December, when the city reached an agreement with the housing groups. However, earlier this week, a coalition led by the Churches United for Fair Housing filed a new complaint in federal court against the city and the developers, in which they claim that Rabsky has a history of building either luxury homes, or housing that is “designed for and marketed exclusively to Hasidic families.”

Gluck is a lesser known player in this drama but is an equal partner, and provided his partner with a $15 million loan through a separate entity. Gluck has partnered with Rabsky on other projects as well, and recently agreed to buy a 250-unit rental building in Coney Island for $50 million. He financed the purchase with a $40 million bond raise in Israel.