Sales  ·  Commercial

Rockrose Development Buys St. Francis’ Brooklyn Heights Campus for $160M


St. Francis College sold its Brooklyn Heights campus for $160 million to Rockrose Development, according to property records made public Monday. 

Rockrose’s all-cash deal for five buildings — 172 to 180 Remsen Street — closed Friday and the properties are debt-free, said Cushman & Wakefield (CWK)’s Daniel O’Brien, who brokered the sale with Frank Liantonio. Also involved were O’Brien and Liantonio’s former C&W colleagues Patrick Dugan, now of CBRE, and Adam Spies, who recently decamped to Newmark.

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Izak Senbahar’s Alexico Group originally planned to buy the buildings for $200 million, but the deal never closed. O’Brien declined to comment on why Alexico’s deal fell through, but he said Rockrose’s purchase wrapped up quickly, allowing St. Francis to complete its move to a new 255,091-square-foot campus nearby at 181 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

“It was always the plan to sell this asset and utilize it to serve their mission of educating young people,” O’Brien said. 

St. Francis moved to Tishman Speyer-owned building, dubbed The Wheeler, last year as its student body had outgrown the Remsen Street campus, TRD reported. The sale and relocation of its previous space will let St. Francis increase its programs, Tim Cecere, acting president of St. Francis, said in a statement. 

“We are now in a better position to address our challenges and expand our academic programs while attracting a wider group of local and international students to St. Francis College,” Cecere said. “Our college community is better served in a more modern, custom-built facility located in the same amazing Brooklyn community we have been a part of for more than 160 years.”

Senbahar, Dugan and a spokesperson for Rockrose did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Spies declined to comment.

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