Valley National Lends $25M on Brooklyn Industrial Lots

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LargaVista Companies has inked a $25 million refinancing from Valley National Bank on an industrial site it owns in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section, according to property records.

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The deal refinances a group of three contiguous lots backed up against Newton Creek, the East River tributary that splits Brooklyn and Queens: 362, 364 and 394 Maspeth Avenue. The transaction appears to knock out previous debt of $12.7 million, provided by Tristate Capital Bank in 2017, and add $12.3 in additional leverage.

Small buildings stand at each of the three sites, but most of the space is given over to parking lots. DKN Ready Mix, a company that makes concrete and delivers it to construction sites, stores its mixer trucks at 362 Maspeth, for example, and a towing service, Us Tow, operates from a parking lot at 364 Maspeth. 394 Maspeth is also a parking site, although it’s not clear who leases it.

The site’s industrial roots date to 1844, when it first housed an animal-rendering plant that produced glue. Starting at the turn of the 20th century, it served other manufacturing and shipping tenants until 1946, when it became a fuel-storage facility run by the Mellon family’s Gulf Oil and later by Terminyx Corp. LargaVista’s predecessor company, a filling-station chain called Gaseteria, bought the Maspeth Avenue assemblage in 1998.

Gaseteria’s  blue-and-red logo was a common site above New York City gas stations in the 1970s and 1980s. But under its new name the company, led now by Marcello Porcelli—the founder’s son—has switched gears, using its former automotive holdings to pivot into more ambitious commercial real estate projects.

No permits have been filed with the New York City Department of Buildings for new construction on the lots in Greenpoint. But at 300 Lafayette Street in Soho, LargaVista knocked down what used to be a gas station to build a an 85,000-square-foot retail and office development in a joint venture with Related Companies, with a 2014 financing from American International Group. And at One Avenue B in the East Village, the company tore up a filling station to build one of the area’s first luxury condominium buildings in 2005.

In Queens, LargaVista is also leading the redevelopment of a 60,000-square-foot former warehouse into loft-style office space, at 30-10 41st Avenue in Long Island City. But that building’s first life had nothing to do with cars: It used to be a factory that made stoves.

Representatives for LargaVista and Valley National Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.