Besen & Associates Arranges $6.5 M. South Williamsburg Sale

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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.

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.

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“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.