Bronx Landlord Nabs Harlem Buildings for Double Their 2012 Price


2655 and 2657 Frederick Douglass Boulevard.
2655 and 2657 Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

Castellan Real Estate Partners has sold a pair of rent-stabilized Harlem buildings to a Bronx landlord for $6.6 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

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The buildings, 2655 and 2657 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at the corner of West 142nd Street, have a combined 26 apartments with an average asking rent of $1,376 per month, according to Besen & Associates, which represented both sides in the sale. Of those units, 14 are two-bedroom and 12 are three-bedroom apartments.

“This was a first foray into Manhattan for the buyer,” said Besen & Associates’ Alan Zucco, who represented the buyer, in prepared remarks. “He’s mainly a Bronx operator, and actually felt this was a better value than recent Bronx deals he’s been seeing.”

Besen & Associates declined to provide the seller’s name, but a source with knowledge of the deal said it was Stephen Crawford. He apparently owns several mixed-use properties in the Bronx.

Shallini Mehra and Amit Doshi, also of Besen & Associates, represented Castellan, which paid a total $3.8 million for the two buildings in June 2012.

Those buildings also include six retail units, half of which are currently vacant, according to the brokerage. Two of the stores are at 2655 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, measuring at 800 and 500 square feet. The remaining four retail spots (three of which are empty) are at 2657 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, according to Besen & Associates.

“The seller renovated almost half of the units, contributing to the income while still leaving enough upside for the new buyer,” Ms. Mehra said in prepared remarks. “As Harlem continues to gentrify, the demand for apartment buildings with stores goes even higher.”