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Storage Post Picks Up Brooklyn Facility

29 Jun 2015, 8:16 am

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A nine-story storage facility near the Brooklyn Navy Yard was picked up by Atlanta-based Storage Post from previous owner Moishe’s Self Storage, which continues to operate a portfolio of 500,000 square feet in Queens and the Bronx.

Self-Storage - 35 Ryerson St. - Brooklyn

Self-Storage – 35 Ryerson St. – Brooklyn

Easily recognizable by its bright-red exterior, the 280,000-square-foot building is located at 35 Ryerson St. in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood, right next to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. The facility traded for $95.6 million, according to real estate website PropertyShark. This translates into $341 per square foot or $36.281 per unit.

With this acquisition Storage Post’s self-storage portfolio in New York City grows to ten properties. The company, which was founded in 1998, already owns and operates nine other locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.

As reported by The Real Deal, the facility was built by the government in 1942. During World War II it was leased to the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, which used it as a manufacturing site. The building’s distinctive façade was painted bright red in 2010, a few years after Moishe’s Self Storage purchased the property.

Image via Storage Post

World’s Tallest Passive House Rises at Cornell Tech

26 Jun 2015, 3:17 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Rendering of Cornell Tech Campus - Roosevelt Island

Rendering of Cornell Tech Campus – Roosevelt Island

Two years have passed since Cornell University’s Board of Trustees unveiled plans to develop an innovation campus on the southern portion of Roosevelt Island, on 12 acres of land that the City of New York agreed to lease to the graduate school for 99 years. Called Cornell Tech, this transformative development will eventually encompass 2 million square feet of academic, research, office and housing space, bringing under the same roof about 2,000 people. The campus will be built in three stages over the next 20 years at a total cost of $2 billion—which includes $100 million in funding from the City of New York and an additional $350 million in start-up costs provided by Charles Feeney, a Cornell alumnus and philanthropist.

Phase I of the project, which will cost around $800 million, debuted this May with the official start of construction of The Bridge, a seven-story academic building developed by Forest City Ratner Companies and designed by WEISS/MANFREDI. The facility will serve as a hub for companies, researchers and entrepreneurs focused on innovation and commercialization of new products and technologies that aim to drive economic growth for New York City. According to the Cornell Chronicle, the building was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification and is set to open in summer 2017.

Rendering of Cornell Tech Passive House - Roosevelt Island

Rendering of Cornell Tech Passive House – Roosevelt Island

The second construction project, that’s also part of Phase I at Cornell Tech and kicked off this month, made quite a buzz: a 26-story high-rise that aims to become the world’s largest residential tower built to Passive House standards. Rising 270 feet above the ground, the building will not only be the tallest structure on campus, but also the tallest residential project certified by the Passive House Institute (PHI). As detailed by NYPassiveHouse, these standards reduce the building’s operational energy demand to an optimal extent through insulation, airtightness, heat recovery, solar heat gains, solar shading and incidental internal heat gains, so that the structure is exceptionally comfortable, healthy and affordable to occupy.

According to a press release, the Passive House at Cornell Tech is developed by The Hudson Companies and The Related Companies, while BuroHappold Engineering was selected to provide structural engineering, MEP engineering and lighting design services. The structure designed by Handel Architects is also being built to meet ENERGY STAR® and LEED® certification standards. Steven Winter Associates is providing technical consulting services to guide the design and testing for Passive House certification.

When completed in 2017, the $115 million Passive House at Cornell tech will include 352 rental units for graduate students and faculty staff. The building is projected to have an overall consumption that is 70 percent less than that of a modern conventional multifamily building. The New York Times reported that the housing units will come in a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments priced below market-rate. Additionally, the building will incorporate a number of micro units of about 350 square feet.

Renderings courtesy of Cornell University

Former Paint Factory Goes Residential

22 Jun 2015, 2:36 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Much to no surprise, the former Paragon Paint Factory in Long Island City is set to be transformed into yet another apartment building.

Paragon Paint Factory - Long Island City

Paragon Paint Factory – Long Island City

Simon Baron Development and CRE Development joined forces to rescue the eye-soring structure located at 45-50 Vernon Blvd. The Real Deal reported that the developers filed plans to transform the property into a new 28-story rental building that will have 236,230 square feet of residential space and 10,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space. A parking garage for 24 cars will be built at the cellar level of the building and the first floor will hold bike parking and amenity space. Shop Architects was selected to design the project.

According to application files, the residential portion will begin on the second floor and each floor will have between nine and 22 apartments. The building will contain 296 rental units with an average size of 798 square feet per unit. Average rent prices in Long Island City range between $2,394 for a studio and $3,558 for a two-bedroom unit, MNS market data shows.

The existing 69,550-square-foot building was purchased by Simon Baron Development for $14.7 million in November 2013. The previous owners, Richard Wissak and Jerry Nazari, acquired the property for $3.3 million in 2011.

Image courtesy of PropertyShark

Extell Buys, Sells in the Diamond District

17 Jun 2015, 6:55 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

25 W. 47th Street - Manhattan Diamond District

25 W. 47th Street – Manhattan Diamond District

A 77-year-old mixed-use building in Manhattan’s glitzy Diamond District changed hands for $15.4 million last month.

As first reported by the Commercial Observer, Extell Development picked up the two-story building at 24 W. 47th Street from seller Toback Realty LLC, a family-run business that purchased the property in 1980. Located between Fifth Ave. and Avenue of the Americas, the 4,477-square-foot asset consists of street level retail spaces and offices on the second floor.

International Gem Tower - 50 W. 47th St. - Manhattan Diamond District

International Gem Tower – 50 W. 47th St. – Manhattan Diamond District

With this acquisition Extell expanded its presence in the Diamond District, where the company owns the International Gem Tower. The 36-story commercial condominium sits at 50 W. 47thSt. It was completed in 2012 under plans designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and includes more than 80 units of office space targeting exclusively the global diamond, gem and jewelry industries.

The Observer reported that one of the tower’s office condos was recently purchased by the Gemological Institute of America. The research institute, which currently occupies the entire fourth and eighth floors of the 488,000-square-foot high-rise, paid $13 million for an office condo on the ninth floor.

Images via PropertyShark

Greystone Bassuk Sets Record

10 Jun 2015, 5:52 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Rendering of 525 West 52nd Street

Rendering of 525 West 52nd Street

Greystone Bassuk has arranged a $200 million construction-to-perm financing facility in New York, setting the record for largest construction financing structured entirely as a private placement under The New York State Housing Finance Agency’s (“HFA”) 80/20 Housing Program. The $200 million loan facility is also the first private placement execution with multiple bond purchasers.

The $200 million loan facility is led by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., with M&T Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase as co-lenders. It consists of $10 million of 2015 Series A low floater tax-exempt bonds, $60 million of 2015 Series B taxable bonds, $55.5 million of 2016 Series A low-floater tax-exempt bonds and $74.5 million of 2016 Series B low-floater taxable bonds providing funds for the construction 525 West 52nd Street. Real estate finance intermediary and advisory firm Greystone Bassuk secured the $200 million loan facility on behalf of an affiliate of Taconic Investment Partners and Mitsui Fudosan Americas for their 525 West 52nd Street project in New York City.

Located in Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood, the development will consist of two luxury residential towers of 14 and 22 stories over a single-story base. Totaling 445,000 square feet, the project will comprise 392 apartments, of which 312 will be market rate. 80 apartments will be designated affordable housing units, which will target households earning 60 percent or less of New York City’s area median income.

Image credits: Taconic Investment Partners

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