Stalled Billyburg site hits market at $52.5M
Less than a week after taking control of the property in a foreclosure action, the lender puts it on the market. Foundation and pre-approved plans are in place for the 443,000-square-foot building.
By Amanda Fung @amandafung
March 5, 2012 1:32 p.m.
A large stalled development site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is up for grabs for $52.5 million—roughly what was paid for it in 2007, plus the cost of work completed on the site to date.
Massey Knakal Realty Services was recently retained to market the site, located at 421 Kent Ave. at South 8th Street, two blocks south of the Williamsburg Bridge and one block in from the East River Waterfront. The vacant property is slightly more than two acres, and would support a building of as much as 443,000 square feet. A foundation with subsurface plumbing is in place.
Several years ago the site got the green light for a 216-unit condominium development, according to the brokerage's chairman Bob Knakal. His firm was retained by the Manhattan-based lender, Manchester Real Estate & Construction, which only late last week foreclosed on the site and took position of it through a foreclosure auction.
“It's a fantastic piece of property,” said Mr. Knakal, adding that he started preliminary marketing of the site over the weekend and has already received interest from over 100 parties. “This is a very large site for Williamsburg, (while) most of the other sites in play are very small with about 20,000 to 40,000 of buildable square feet.”
The original developers of the site, Chaim Lax and Isaac Hager, defaulted on the original $17 million loan from Manchester Real Estate in 2008. Mr. Lax, who was the money behind the project, died that year, according to Richard Kalikow, president of Manchester Real Estate. He added that Mr. Hager, a minority partner in development, “did not have the financial resources to work things out.” Mr. Hager could not be reached for comment.
The developers acquired the site for $42.6 million in 2007, according to public records. Mr. Knakal estimates that the outstanding debt on the site is in excess of $60 million.
The site will come with the pre-approved plans as well as preliminary 421a tax abatement certificates. Mr. Knakal, added that $7 million to $8 million has already gone into the site for such things as the foundation and plumbing work.
“Between the foundation and the plans it is ready to go,” said Mr. Kalikow. “We expect to get close to the asking price. Nothing has been built in the last three to four years and there is demand.”