Sales Beat

Icon Sells LES Mixed-Use Building for Less Than $17M Ask [Updated]

43-45 Orchard Street

Terrence Lowenberg and Todd Cohen‘s Icon Realty Management has sold an Orchard Street mixed-use building for a bit less than its $16.95 million asking price.

The 15,900-square-foot, seven-story building (plus mezzanine) Lower East Side building at 43-45 Orchard Street between Hester and Grand Streets, which is home to surf apparel store Lost Weekend, was purchased for $16.1 million, according to property records. The sale closed on March 14 and appeared in public records today.  Read More

Sales Beat

Chelsea Development Site Sells for $22.5M


Massey Knakal has arranged the sale of a development site at 455 West 19th Street, located between Ninth and 10th Avenues in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, for $22.5 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

The site consists of an approximately 4,600-square-foot lot that measures 50 by 92 feet and currently holds a single-story warehouse, offering 27,692 buildable square feet. The sale price equates to approximately $813 per buildable square foot. Read More

Sales Beat

Massey Knakal Sells $49 M. East Village Portfolio

195 and 199-203 East 4th Street

Massey Knakal has arranged the $49 million sale of seven-property portfolio spread along a single street in the East Village, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The five and six-story buildings at 118, 120-22, 195, 199, 201 and 203 East 4th Street make up a combined 53,770 square feet across 115 units, with 175 feet of frontage and one retail space (at 195 East 4th).

“Demand to own multifamily properties in the East Village is extremely high as rents continue to surge and vacancy in the neighborhood is below 1 percent,” said Massey Knakal’s John Ciraulo, who exclusively represented the seller with Craig Waggner, James Nelson, Michael DeCheser and Bob Knakal, adding that the “purchaser continued their recent buying spree” in the neighborhood. Read More

On the Market

Rare Development Site Hits West Chelsea for $19 M.

The High Line originated from the Meatpacking District and the Whitney Museum and will soon stretch to Hudson Yards and its proposed 24 million square feet of office space and 13,500 new apartments

A development site that grazes the High Line at 239 Tenth Avenue in West Chelsea is on the market for $19 million, standing like a mirage in a part of town where such opportunities are sparse, if not non-existent.

The great success of the High Line has created an influx of galleries and residential development to keep pace, but the problem today is a lack of space, brokers marketing the site said.

“It’s one of the last sites in West Chelsea that’s available,” said James Nelson, a partner at Massey Knakal who is exclusively handling the sale with Brock Emmetsberger.  “There’s virtually no condo product left in the area.” Read More

Power Broker

Each One Teach One: Massey Knakal Broker James Nelson


James Nelson recently ushered a dozen Colgate University undergraduate students on a tour through The Abingdon, a West Village nursing home-turned-luxury condo where some units, which sold out this month, ran for more than $10 million.

With the help of his team, Mr. Nelson, a partner at Massey Knakal, sold the property at 607 Hudson Street for just over $33 million to Flank Architects in 2011 on behalf of nonprofit group VillageCare, which previously ran a nursing home there.

Much like the undergrads, the investment sales heavyweight traveled The Abingdon’s hallways with looks of awe, as Jon Kully, a principal at Flank, led the group into its sprawling condos. The building bore no resemblance to the nursing home Mr. Nelson had first stepped foot into in 2007. “They had 200 beds packed in there, and it wasn’t up to code, and it was in desperate need of renovation,” he said. “This was a complete transformation. It really was amazing what they did, and to know that I had a small part in making that happen was great.” Read More


Ballroom Waltz: A Minute-By-Minute Account of Last Night’s REBNY Gala

REBNY Ballroom final

Thursday’s Real Estate Board of New York gala packed an estimated 2,400 guests into the Hilton New York’s overstuffed Grand Ballroom—an increase from last year by about 200. The Commercial Observer walked the room, hobnobbed with brokers and landlords and taste-tested a dinner of steak and potatoes while washing it all down with a few stiff drinks. Staff Reporters Karsten Strauss and Al Barbarino get the inside dish.

Read More

Sales Beat

Out-of-state Buyer to Build Hotel After Scooping Up West Village Parking Lot for $10.25M

Hudson River Park's Pier 40, pre-Sandy (HRP Trust)

A commercial development site at 152-154 Leroy Street in the West Village was sold in an all-cash transaction to a first-time New York City buyer for $10.25 million, and the new owner plans to build a hotel on the property, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Located between West and Washington Streets, the site currently functions as a parking lot, approximately 55 feet wide, with roughly 27,980 gross buildable square feet. Read More

Sales Beat

Good Property Pays $9.3M for Greenwich Village Townhouse Building

74 Washington Place

Real estate firm Good Property has purchased a townhouse building at 74 Washington Place in Greenwich Village for $9.3 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The 5,077-square-foot, five-story brownstone is located between Sixth Avenue and Washington Square Place, steps from Washington Square Park.

The property was sold in an all-cash transaction after being on the market for roughly two weeks, said Massey Knakal Partner James Nelson, who handled the transaction exclusively with Mitch Levine, a director of sales at the firm.  Mr. Nelson called Good Property the “ideal purchaser” for the property. Read More

Investment Sales

640 Broadway sells for $32.5 million

640 Broadway

 640 Broadway has sold for $32.5 million.

According to Bob Knakal, chairman of the brokerage company Massey Knakal who handled the sale with colleague James Nelson, the roughly 63,000 square foot Soho building was purchased by a first time Manhattan buyer in partnership with an institutional investor. Mr. Knakal, a prolific broker of commercial and multifamily buildings in the city, said he could not disclose the identity of the joint venture because they were his clients and asked him to remain anonymous. Read More

2012 Outlook

Low Interest Rates, Capital Gains Spike, Could Spur Sales: Massey Knakal

Robert Knakal, Back in the Day.

Massey Knakal executives predict that the sales market for office buildings and apartment properties will pick up considerably in 2012, due in large part to a combination of record low interest rates and widespread expectations that the capital gains tax rate will rise next year.

“We’re going to see a natural regression in 2012 back to the norms,” said Robert Knakal, Massey Knakal’s chairman, noting that the volume of properties sold in the city has been below the historical average since the recession and is likely to bounce back. “The potential increase in capital gains that could take place in 2013 [is a big driver]. We saw a significant spike in sales volume in 2010 for the very same reason.” Read More