Besen & Associates Arranges $6.5 M. South Williamsburg Sale


In a sign of the growing appeal of South Williamsburg among investors, as rents tick up towards those of prime Williamsburg, Besen & Associates has arranged the sale of a six-story walkup apartment building at 331 Keap Street for $6.5 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

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331 Keap StA private investor with between 70 and 80 residential buildings across Manhattan won a competitive bid for the 35-unit, 21,740-square-foot residential property (with one retail unit occupied by a dry cleaner), in a move that represented the firm’s first foray into the Brooklyn market, brokers handling the sale said.

“The demand for Williamsburg has intensified to the point where some buildings are achieving Manhattan level pricing,” said Lev Mavashev, a senior director at Besen & Associates who represented the seller.  “We were taken aback by the interest level in this property.”

The building, with 24 two-bedroom, 10 one-bedroom and a super’s unit, features just seven free market units, while the rest are rent stabilized.  The average monthly apartment rent is $1,100 per month, providing for substantial growth potential, as, according to the April 2013 MNS Brooklyn Rental Market Report, mean Williamsburg rents are $2,363 and $3,095 for one- and two-bedroom units, respectively.

“The delta between the average in-place rent here and average rent achieved across Brooklyn as a whole, let alone Williamsburg, is tremendous,” said Glenn Raff, a managing director at Besen & Associates who procured the buyer.  “While the purchaser paid a high multiple, the price still worked out to $300 per foot.  They will do extremely well with this asset.”

The property, built in 1915, is situated between the Marcy Avenue and Hewes Street J, M, and Z subway lines.  One block from the BQE Expressway, it is minutes from the Williamsburg Bridge interchange.