Hal Fetner snags second UES rental in 2 weeks

Investor pays Ohebshalom family $63M for 85-unit Yorkville building

Hal Fetner Snares Another UES Rental Building
Fetner Properties' Hal Fetner, Ben and Jonathan Ohebshalom and 501 East 74th Street (Fetner Properties, LinkedIn, Google Maps)

Hal Fetner may be taking a page from Alec Baldwin’s character in the 1992 film “Glengarry Glen Ross,” where he demands his real estate salesmen “always be closing.”

Fetner has been closing deals on the Upper East Side — two in two weeks, after sealing one Friday afternoon for $63 million.

Fetner Properties picked up 501 East 74th Street, a market-rate, 20-story building at York Avenue, from its developers, the Ohebshalom family.

It is less than a decade old and has 82 apartments — 35 studios, 16 one-bedrooms, 29 two-bedrooms and seven three-bedrooms, according to StreetEasy. That adds up to 87, so the website’s unit breakdown is off a bit, but it’s clear that rents range from about $3,500 to nearly $18,000.

Last week, The Real Deal reported that Fetner and Farallon Capital Management had bought 85 East End Avenue from BlackRock for $75 million. That property has 174 units, more than twice as many as the East 74th Street property, but it was built 65 years earlier, in 1951, and may still have some rent-stabilized apartments.

The newly acquired East 74th Street building was developed by Ben and Jonathan Ohebshalom’s Sky Management. The brothers finished the project in 2015 and named it Rose Modern, only to be sued by rival developer Rose Associates for trademark infringement.

“We are concerned that property owners, lenders, investment partners and renters will be misled into thinking the property is a Rose building when it is not,” a spokesperson for the third-generation Rose Associates said at the time.

According to Carter Horsley’s review of the building, Ben Ohebshalom named it after his mother. But after the lawsuit, the family removed the name. Listing websites now identify the property only by its address, although there are some vestigial mentions of Rose Modern.

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On the building itself, however, an engraving in the marble to the right of the entrance reads: “Dr. Robert and Rosa Ohebshalom, Purchased 1977, Developed 2016.”

It is not clear what is motivating Fetner’s interest in Upper East Side multifamily buildings, other than the obvious: Market-rate rents in the neighborhood have been high forever, save for the short-lived pandemic dip in 2020.

Also, the state’s new tax incentive for building multifamily, 485x, comes with high labor costs, which — along with a paucity of Manhattan development sites — will limit future competition for buildings like the ones Fetner is buying.

Fetner, through a spokesperson, declined to comment. Sky Management executives also declined to comment.

The Ohebshaloms, whose business model is no-fee rentals, appear to have sold from a position of strength: Listing sites show 501 East 74th Street only three apartments available for rent. User reviews are mostly good, except for some complaints about the construction, appliances and frequency of window cleaning, but nothing has been posted in the past few years on Google or Yelp.

Sky Management’s portfolio has about 800 units in prime Manhattan neighborhoods.

A CBRE team led by Dan Kaplan and Doug Middleton brokered the sale.

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