Rabsky Group buying bankrupt Crown Heights redevelopment for $19M

Simon Dushinsky’s company won auction of historic Nassau Brewing building

Simon Dushinsky’s Rabsky Group Buying Crown Heights Bankrupt 945 Bergen Street
945 Bergen Street (Google Maps, Getty)

Prolific Brooklyn developer Simon Dushinsky is snapping up a multifamily redevelopment in Crown Heights that has been financially troubled for years.

Dushinsky’s Rabsky Group won a bankruptcy auction to buy the Nassau Brewing redevelopment at 945 Bergen Street with a bid of $18.8 million, according to court records and sources familiar with the sale. 

Dushinsky could not be immediately reached for comment.

Rabsky’s purchase closes a chapter on the Nassau Brewing building, which has been mired in dispute for several years.

The project’s original developer, Fabian Friedland’s Brooklyn-based Crow Hill Development, bought the building at 945 Bergen Street and a neighboring property at 1036 Dean Street for $17.5 million in 2014.

Friedland sold the Dean Street property and moved forward with his plan to convert the former brewery into 38 rental apartments with retail spaces and a subterranean gastropub.

In 2016, Churchill Real Estate came in and injected $5 million into the project, but things went downhill. 

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Churchill claimed in court that Friedland botched the redevelopment, including mishandling a commercial tenant’s security deposit and construction funds, leaving the project in a state of partial completion.

“It appears that Friedland grossly mismanaged the project, apparently diverting millions of dollars that should have been put into the rehabilitation,” Churchill said in court filings.

Churchill removed Friedland as manager and put the project into bankruptcy in July 2021. Churchill had provided debtor-in-possession financing of $9 million. With the additional costs and taxes associated, the $18.8 million purchase price likely leaves little to pay senior lender Valley National Bank, which held a $17 million mortgage on the property, according to a source familiar with the process.

A Newmark team led by Dan O’Brien and Maurice Suede handled marketing for the auction.

Dushinsky, along with his partner Isaac Rabinowitz, is one of Brooklyn’s most active developers. The duo developed 500-unit 10 Montieth Street at the former Rheingold Brewery site in Bushwick, known for its sloping roof that resembles a Ninja Warrior obstacle course and amenities geared for Brooklyn hipsters. 

They have also redeveloped the former Pfizer site at the intersection of Bushwick, Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

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