Joseph Chetrit is in contract to purchase the 1.5-acre former Cabrini Medical Center site at Second Avenue and East 19th Street, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
The Chetrit Group and its partners have agreed to pay more than $150 million for the five-building complex owned by Memorial Sloan-Kettering, sources familiar with the deal confirmed with The Commercial Observer.
The Journal noted that Mr. Chetrit is purchasing the property with the same group of investors that he bought the Sony Building with, which included David Bistricer and put the man at the helm of Clipper Equities on the map among commercial real estate’s elite.
Mr. Bistricer and Mr. Chetrit plan to turn the Sony Building tower into residential condominiums, a hotel, and to retrofit the retail space. That deal pitted the duo against industry heavyweights like Joseph Sitt and Harry Macklowe, winning a competitive bid by slapping down a jaw-dropping $600 million letter of credit to seal the deal.
Mr. Bistricer did not return calls seeking comment in time for publication.
SKI Realty, an affiliate of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, closed on the Cabrini site in October of 2010, paying $83.1 million, with plans to build an ambulatory care and bone marrow and stem-cell transplantation facilities, but later decided to expand its facilities uptown instead after a deal it struck with the city (Cabrini closed due to financial difficulties in 2008 and later filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2009).
In the Upper East Side deal, the city agreed to sell a 66,000-square-foot site at 525 East 73rd Street for $215 million, what Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the time called “one of the largest real estate transactions the city has ever been involved in.” MSKCC will construct a 750,000-square-foot cancer care facility at that site, which is near its main campus at 1275 York Avenue.
A spokesperson for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center referred calls and emails to Mark Weiss, the broker at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank who marketed the Cabrini site. Mr. Weiss declined comment.