The Lobby

Three Top Brokers From Eastern Consolidated Head to Meridian

David Schechtman.

David Schechtman, Lipa Lieberman and Abie Kassin have left Eastern Consolidated for Meridian Capital Group, Commercial Observer has learned, launching a new investment sales division with Mr. Schechtman as a key principal.

The trio’s last day at Eastern Consolidated was yesterday, according to Daun Paris, the co-founder of Eastern Consolidated, who noted that while Mr. Schechtman “was an important part of the team,” Eastern Consolidated still retains “a deep bench of talent.” Read More

On the Market

Brownsville Commercial Building on the Market for $6.5M

50-54 Belmont Avenue in Brownsville prior to renovations. (PropertyShark)

Eastern Consolidated is marketing a 22,500-square-foot commercial building at 50-54 Belmont Avenue in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Commercial Observer has learned. The asking price for the property is $6.5 million.

The two-story building is fully occupied by two tenants on long-term leases. Brightside Academy, a child care and early education center, shares the building with Fiesta Adult Daycare Center. Read More

ICSC 2014

The Dirt on ICSC’s RECon

rgb_-Las vegas- by Moyan Brenn4

ICSC RECon is sprawling and frenetic enough to test the nerves of grizzled veterans and wide-eyed first timers alike. Commercial Observer picked up some expert advice on the event that hopefully came in handy for those now leaving Las Vegas.

Chase Welles, SCG Retail

Strategy: “I’m almost completely booked with existing clients and solidifying current deals and will take a look at new ones. I also make it my business to go to Lotus of Siam. It’s the best Thai restaurant in the country.”

Trend prediction: “Sunday of ICSC is the new Wednesday.” Read More

Trading CRE

ETRE Financial Files for IPO


On Monday, ETRE Financial filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of ETRE REIT (proposed ticker is ECAV) on the NASDAQ exchange. Operating as a limited liability corporation, ETRE REIT would allow public investment in individual commercial real estate properties with the properties held as separate real estate investment trusts. Read More

Building Sale

Chelsea Building Housing Cafeteria Restaurant Trades [Updated]

119-125 Seventh Avenue

The Chelsea building where the once uber-cool Cafeteria has been located since 1998 has sold for $35.6 million. The deal closed yesterday.

The sellers of 161-165 West 17th Street, also known as 119 Seventh Avenue, are the Spector family and partners, who have owned the mixed-use property for 47 years. The buyers are Albert and Robert Gilardian of the Manhattan-based Gilar GroupRead More

Sales Beat

Center for Fiction Sells Headquarters for $18M

Ground floor bookshop at 17 East 47th Street.

The Center for Fiction has sold its headquarters at 17 East 47th Street to Sun’s Acres LLC for $18 million. The nonprofit signed a short-term lease-back with the new owner and will remain at the property until it determines a new location.

“After spending 81 years in Midtown, The Center is relocating in order to better suit their programming needs and to accommodate their growing member base,” said Steven Zimmerman, associate director at Eastern Consolidated, who represented the seller, in a statement. “Their architecturally acclaimed building was in high demand, and we were able to achieve a sales price that reflects $1,000 per square foot.” Read More

Sales Beat

Sam Chang Acquires 11 West 37th Street for $8.25 Million

11 West 37th Street. (Courtesy of PropertyShark)

Prolific hotel developer Sam Chang has acquired 11 West 37th Street for $8.25 million, Commercial Observer has learned. The five-story property, the site of a former bead business, will be delivered vacant and is set to be converted by Mr. Chang’s McSam Hotel Group.

“As we began the marketing process, Sam stuck his hand up way above where we expected the market to be,” said David Schechtman of Eastern Consolidated, who brokered the sale on behalf of the seller, Elvee Rosenberg Inc. “He made a healthy offer on excellent terms and was able to execute very quickly.” Read More

Sales Beat

Nonprofit Sells 154 East 23rd Street for $9M


The Xavier Society for the Blind has sold its former headquarters at 154 East 23rd Street for $9 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The decision to sell was motivated in part by the burgeoning real estate market in Midtown South but also by changes in Xavier’s mission. The organization previously produced Braille and large-print books and had several libraries at the property that were open to the public. Technology innovations such as tablets and e-readers have since reduced the need for those types of physical materials.

Read More

Sales Beat

Chinese Investor Buys Corona Site for $17M

A lot at 112-21 Northern Boulevard is attracting interest from buyers both at home and abroad, according to Eastern Consolidated.

Dick DiBlasi has sold 112-21 Northern Boulevard, a development site in Corona, Queens, to a private Chinese investor for $17 million.

The land includes the site of DiBlasi Ford, a car dealership, and is zoned for up to 357,000 square feet of development. The dealership is actively negotiating to relocate within Corona, according to a statement announcing the sale.

Read More

On the Market

Cornell Realty Selling Williamsburg Rental Property, Asking $38.5 M.

76-80 Meserole Street

Brooklyn-based Cornell Realty Management LLC is selling a 49-unit, four-story, 61,000-square-foot multifamily rental building at 76-80 Meserole Street in Williamsburg for $38.5 million.

The building features 41 one-bedroom apartments averaging 990 square feet and eight two-bedrooms averaging 1,283 square feet, 21 of which are duplexes.

“Williamsburg is golden. Everyone wants to own property there,” said Read More

Sales Beat

Extell Sells Hudson Square Development Leasehold for $52 M.


Extell Development has sold a 90 percent stake in a commercial development site at 68-74 Charlton Street for $52 million to investment firm Angelo, Gordon & Co., raking in $7 million more than originally sought, according to published reports and city records.

Extell, which originally intended to build a 35-story, 181,000-square-foot luxury hotel at the site, Read More

Power Broker

The Rabbi of Realty: Lipa Lieberman of Eastern Consolidated on Balancing Religion with Real Estate

Lipa Lieberman (Photo: Darcy Rogers)

Growing up in the Hasidic community of Midwood, Brooklyn, Lipa Lieberman noticed early on that his most successful neighbors owned real estate.

“Real estate was always in the back of my mind,” said Mr. Lieberman, 33, a senior director at Eastern Consolidated. But before he entered the industry, Mr. Lieberman earned a bachelor’s degree in Jewish studies at Rabbinical College of America and attended the Central Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch, where he was ordained as a rabbi.

“You’re ordained because you study Jewish law in college and then take the rabbinical equivalent of the bar exam,” Mr. Lieberman said. “You don’t necessarily do it to practice in a synagogue.” Although he never led a congregation, Mr. Lieberman’s religious background—he’s a member of the Chabad sect and spent time abroad at a Chabad center in Venice, Italy—did inform his secular career choice. Read More