Massey Knakal Arranges $21.25M Sale of UWS Apartment Building

Massey Knakal has arranged the sale of an apartment building at 220 West 71st Street in Manhattan’s Upper West Side for $21.25 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Located between Broadway and West End Avenue, the 38,463-square-foot, pre-war, 53-foot wide elevator apartment building has nine stories, a penthouse, and great upside potential for the new owner.

It’s a gem in a neighborhood mostly void of available elevator product, said Paul Smadbeck, a Massey Knakal senior vice president of sales, who represented both parties in the transaction.

220 West 71st Street

220 West 71st Street

“It’s a spectacular product in a superior location, with large apartments and tremendous upside,” he said.  “The apartments are large and the rents are low.”

There were only nine sales of elevator product in the Upper West Side in all 2012, and just five below 86th Street, Mr. Smadbeck noted.

Much of the upside lies in the building’s 37 residential units – 29 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments – with 16 rent stabilized, six rent controlled, and 15 fair market units.

Apartment sizes average over 880 net rentable square feet each, and the building also features two ground floor professional spaces.

While the property would likely thrive after a condo conversion, the buyer will likely keep the building a multifamily rental, considering the enormous potential to bring rents up to market rate and beyond, Mr. Smadbeck said.

The market rate units currently run at $46 per square foot, but the rent stabilized and rent controlled units pull the average rental rate for all the units to $28.68 per square foot.

“They should be getting $65 – and up,” he said.

The buyer – an undisclosed New York City investor and owner of multiple properties, looking to reconfigure its entire portfolio – scooped the building up as a 1031 exchange after selling off an asset in mid-2012, ending its search for an apartment building in the heavily sought-after neighborhood.

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