A family trust sold 11 mixed-use buildings on a newly fashionable strip of the Bowery between Houston and Canal Streets. An investment group led by hip-hop clothier Joseph Betesh bought the portfolio–including the home of Keith McNally‘s Pulino’s–for $62 million in what could be the latest whisper of trouble in Mr. McNally’s restaurant empire.
The Wall Street Journal broke news of the sale earlier today, but, as EV Grieve noted, has yet to publish the story online. Faith Hope Consolo, chair of the retail group at Douglas Elliman, told the Journal that the Bowery “is the place to be” and that in the next five years she expects retail rents on the erstwhile skid row to climb to $325 a foot from a current $175 per square foot.
A representative from Massey Knakal told the Journal that several tenants included in the portfolio have leases expiring in “the next few years.” Massey Knakal representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.
Mr. McNally opened the casual pizza and pasta joint Pulino’s in 2010 on a then-emerging stretch of the Bowery. In the past three months, two chefs departed Mr. McNally’s Soho brasserie Balthazar. Rumors quickly followed that the downtown institution was shuttering. The restaurateur called those rumors “ridiculous.” However, he did confirm that Pastis, in the Meatpacking District, would close for nine months starting early next year. A representative for Pulino’s could not be reached for comment.
In yet another recent rumor, Mr. McNally was said to be eying the old Capsouto Freres space at 451 Washington Street.
Mr. Betesh owns the “urban clothing” chain store Dr. Jays.
“The properties are located at 83, 85, 88, 103, 105, 219, 221, 262, 276, 280, and 284 Bowery,” Massey Knakal said in a prepared statement. “The buildings total approximately 143,230 above grade square feet with all air-rights intact. The properties are not contiguous, but nine of the 11 buildings are paired with an adjacent property…These properties have been family owned since the 1930s which presented a rare opportunity for Milestone Equities to acquire a portfolio with tremendous upside.”[Update: This post has been changed to include information from a Massey Knakal press release on the transaction.]