On the Market
Yeshiva University is reportedly selling 10 apartment buildings in Washington Heights near its Wilf Campus as the debt-ridden school continues its struggle to stay afloat.
The school’s president, Richard Joel, said that the sale of the buildings, clustered around Amsterdam Avenue and West 185th Street, including 501 West 184th Street, would provide “an infusion of cash that will be used to strengthen our financial position,” in a statement.
Yeshiva University has sold off the final lot of a building portfolio that it received as a gift then aggressively marketed, pulling in $2 million more than the original asking price and demonstrating the heavy demand for retail in the Lower East Side.
The Commercial Observer has learned that Ben Ashkenazy of Ashkenazy Investments paid $6 million for the corner retail building at 156-164 Delancey Street, on the northwest corner of Delancey Street and Clinton Street, which was originally on the market by for $3.95 million.
The building currently consists of six commercial units, five of which are occupied with leases that expire between 2016 and 2021, and it was marketed based on its redevelopment potential.
“Retail properties like this are in extraordinarily high demand today,” said Massey Knakal Chairman Bob Knakal, who exclusively handled the transaction with Michael DeCheser.
Yeshiva University’s selling spree continues with the announcement that ClearRock Properties and Juster Properties have purchased two of the school’s Midtown Manhattan office properties for $29 million and plan to redevelop them.
One is a 93,700-square-foot, 12-story block-through office building at 9 East 38th Street; and the other is a 7,400-square-foot commercial townhouse at 14 East 39th Street with 22,200 square feet of air rights.
ClearRock announced that it has launched a $10 milion capital improvement program to reposition the properties with the help of architectural firm Spector Group, which will create new lobbies and upgrade façade, storefront, elevators, tenant corridors, restrooms and windows. A “high-end pre-built program” will be implemented and a roof deck is also being considered.
“The redevelopment will add substantial value to the property, and give companies wanting to be near Grand Central a polished, boutique option at reasonable pricing,” said ClearRock Properties Managing Principal Steve Grant, in a statement.
A partnership between San Francisco-based DivcoWest and Brickman Associates has purchased a group of office buildings in Midtown South at 24-28 West 25th Street and 40 West 25th Street, it was announced today. The closing price on the portfolio was approximately $115 million.
DivcoWest is entering the New York market for the first time, James Murphy, executive managing director at Colliers, who represented the seller, Yeshiva University, told The Commercial Observer. The firm focuses on assets and markets with a high concentration of technology tenants.
“With the growth of the tech industry, it is the right time to enter the market,” Mr. Murphy said.
Massey Knakal has sold a portfolio of three office buildings on behalf of Yeshiva University for $87.5 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.
The 16-story, pre-war office building at 920 Broadway – in Midtown South’s Flatiron District – has roughly 110,000 rentable square feet and accounted for $58.5 million of the transaction. It features 96 feet of footage on Broadway and 74 feet along East 21st Street and the corner building is zoned for office and residential development.
The 12-story block-through office building at 9 East 38th Street in the heart of Midtown has about 94,000 rentable square feet, with 47.5 feet of frontage along East 38th Street and 50 feet of frontage on East 39th Street. A three story, 25-foot-wide adjunct building provides half of the frontage along 39th Street, with the two buildings netting the remaining $29 million of the transaction.
A former Yeshiva University lecture hall at 237-241 East 34th Street in Murray Hill has sold for $15.5 million, city records show.
A caveat in the potential for development at the site didn’t stop a series of potential buyers from lining up for a competitive bid to buy the property, said Massey Knakal’s John Ciraulo, who handled the sale along with Michael Azarian and Kobi Leifer.
Three developers courted the university, but a New York City-based firm with a long track record of building dormitory space ultimately prevailed, with plans to do the same at the Yeshiva site.