downtownexpress.com
Volume 20 Issue 10 | July 20 - 26, 2007

Real estate tidbits from the Seaport

By Joseph Dobrian

Historic Front St. is not the only Seaport block with retail activity. Several mixed-use buildings may be available on Beekman St., reports broker Ehsan Rahman of Century 21. “One of them is a landmark property, a five-story building with retail on the ground floor, office space on the second floor, and residential above that, currently producing an income of $22,000 per month,” he says while declining to give the address. “In all it has 10,370 buildable square feet for commercial space, and 9,435 square feet for residential — and a fine view of the East River. The asking price is $5 million. In all, four buildings are available, for a total of $20 million. They all have great potential, in a neighborhood where there’s a lot going on.”

Front St. sale?
What’s the six-story building on Front St. that isn’t officially for sale but might be? At the moment, some of the owners want to sell and some don’t, but a strong offer might prove persuasive.

“It might be available to someone who wants to pay $10 million for a landmark building that has residential and commercial space,” remarks Brahna Yassky, vice president and associate broker at Brown Harris Stevens. “Each floor is 2,300 square feet, some with full-floor apartments and some with two units. You could build another story [in the landmark district] if it’s set back so as not to be visible from the street, and you could put in an elevator. Lately the building’s income has been exceeding its expenses.

“There aren’t a lot of these great old buildings left in the neighborhood,” Yassky continues. “Front St. has seen a real burgeoning in the past year, with several new restaurants, yet it’s still right out of a storybook with its historic buildings and cobbled streets: a little pocket of Old New York in the middle of one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods.”

The building in question appears to be 244 Front, although Yassky didn’t say.

Hotel Fletcher

A new hotel may go up soon on a 45,000-square foot development site at 30 Fletcher St., according to Matthew Sparks, senior managing director at GFI Realty Services, who recently brokered the sale of the property for $10.7 million. The prospective developer is Seaport Heights L.L.C.

Rockrose over bedrock

Pile-driving has ended and the foundations are being laid at 201 Pearl St., at the corner of Maiden Lane, where Rockrose Development is erecting a 28-story, mixed-use building that will include 189 luxury rental apartments. Construction will probably continue through November 2008. This represents the second phase of Rockrose’s project at 2 Gold St., a 51-story residential tower completed in 2005, to which 201 Pearl is attached.

“The two buildings will share an amazing amenities package,” says Sofia Estevez, senior vice president of Rockrose, “including recreational terraces, a swimming pool, and a reflecting pool. Our next project will be a condo conversion of a building we recently renovated, in that same neighborhood.”

Pre-school du jour

The recent retail boom in the Financial District and points east may be slowing — there just isn’t enough space to maintain the recent rate of growth — but this summer and fall will still see a handful of impressive openings. Darrell Rubens, managing director of Winick Realty Group, reports that a Montessori day school is under construction at 2 Gold St. — 15,000 square feet — and will open this fall: a pretty clear indicator that this area has become a family neighborhood.

”Thomas Pink has just opened at 63 Wall St., and Canali has just signed a lease on 2,500 square feet at 25 Broad St., which is currently undergoing a condo conversion,” he adds. “We have a lot of deals pending with other luxury retailers. Haru Sushi, a restaurant that attracts the late-night crowd, has just leased One Wall Street Court, and will be opening in early fall. Crumbs, the bake shop, has just signed a lease at 67 Wall St., next to BMW, and Zen Palate, an Asian/fusion vegetarian restaurant, has just opened at 104 John St.”

Calatrava on hold

The long-awaited condo skyscraper that architect Santiago Calatrava was supposed to build at 80 South St. continues to hang fire, but an announcement may be upcoming this fall, says Keith Behnke, vice president of operations for Sciame Development, which also one of the developers on Front St. The Calatrava building, which is to consist of 12 four-story cubes on an eight-story base, will contain residences of 10,336 square feet, which could sell for up to $30 million each.





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