MD Squared picks up 300 Washington Heights condos in $54M bulk buy

Landlord Joel Wiener’s Pinnacle Group sold the Riverside Drive units for $173K each

MD Squared's Michael Mintz; 801 Riverside Drive and bulk purchase area owned by Pinnacle Group (Linkedin, Google Maps, Getty)
MD Squared's Michael Mintz; 801 Riverside Drive and bulk purchase area owned by Pinnacle Group (Linkedin, Google Maps, Getty)

Hundreds of apartments changed hands in Washington Heights last month in an under-the-radar deal.

An entity tied to landlord Joel Wiener’s Pinnacle Group unloaded a whopping 312 condominium units, spread across more than a dozen converted buildings on Riverside Drive, for $54 million to an entity tied to Michael Mintz’s MD Squared Property Group, property records filed Wednesday show.

The bulk purchase breaks down to an average of just $173,000 per unit for more than half the apartments in 13 pre-war buildings owned by Pinnacle Group on Riverside Drive between West 145th and West 159th streets.

Six of the buildings are clustered between West 155th and 159th Streets, including 156-08 Riverside Drive West and 775, 801, 807, 812 and 835 Riverside Drive, where a combined 177 units were part of the deal.

The other seven buildings involved in the transaction face the Hudson River along Riverbank State Park. Those addresses include 660, 668, 680, 690, 700, 725 and 750 Riverside Drive.

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March was a busy month for MD Squared, a property management firm based in Midtown. The firm also paid Tahl Propp $22.5 million, or $258,000 per unit, for 87 rent-stabilized units at 1325 and 1330 Fifth Avenue, a pair of condo conversions a block north of Central Park in Harlem. Tahl Propp’s Joseph Tall blamed the bargain price on the state’s 2019 rent law, which devalued the rent-stabilized properties by 20 to 65 percent, according to a recent analysis by Maverick Real Estate Partners.

It’s possible that MD Squared, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, bought the Riverside Drive units on behalf of a partner.

Last March, property records indicated that a shell company linked to MD Squared was the buyer on the British-based William Pears Group’s $25 million deal for 62 condos on the East Side.

Seller Joel Wiener’s Pinnacle Group has become one of the city’s largest landlords since it began acquiring properties en masse in the early 2000s and has converted dozens of rent-stabilized apartment buildings across the city into condos. Along the way, the billionaire landlord has drawn his share of scrutiny from regulators.

In October, The City reported that Weiner paid a total of $480,000 to settle allegations that he failed to disclose needed repairs to buyers at a condo conversion in Queens. In 2006, Pinnacle agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations that it had overcharged rent-stabilized tenants in the Bronx.