Greystone has sold Printhouse Lofts, a half-finished residential development in Williamsburg that it scooped up last year and subsequently completed, for almost double what it purchased the property for.
Clarion Partners, a financial firm that invests on behalf of institutional clients like pension funds and banks, acquired the 36-unit property at 139 N. 10th St., between Berry Street and Bedford Avenue, for $30.5 million, according to property records.
Greystone, whose founder and chief executive, Stephen Rosenberg, recently spoke with Crain’sabout the firm’s business, bought the building in 2013 for $15.8 million, while it was still under construction by a partnership between Rabsky and Fortis.
“We were looking for projects between 30 and 40 units in size to do,” said Jeffrey Simpson, who heads Greystone’s property development group. “It was a great sweet spot because for some folks that’s a bit too small and for others it’s too large, so we felt like we got a great deal on it.”
As its name suggests, the property is a former printing factory. Greystone refurbished and expanded the building, restoring architectural details like the property’s brickwork and wood-beamed ceilings in the process. Rabsky and Fortis had originally planned to convert the building into condos, but Greystone turned it into rental units instead and in recent months fully leased the property.
“We saw that there is a big demand for rentals and that this is a property that could really fetch high rents,” Mr. Simpson said, noting that average leasing rates in the building went for between $60 to $70 per square foot.
Jeff Julien, Rob Hinckley and Andrew Scandalios, brokers at HFF, arranged the sale for Greystone.
The deal is one of several recent transactions done by institutional real estate investors in Brooklyn, which has begun to rival Manhattan in terms of its ability to draw major landlords eager to acquire property.
“We believe that Printhouse Lofts is a top institutional-quality asset in one of New York City’s fastest-growing and popular neighborhoods,” Gary Rufrano, an executive at Clarion Partners, said in a statement. Clarion owns another Williamsburg apartment building, at 44 Berry St.
Printhouse Lofts is one of several residential projects that Greystone has recently undertaken in the city. The firm just acquired the Brooklyn Lyceum along Fourth Avenue in Park Slope for $7.6 million, a landmarked property it hopes to convert into residential space. It is also underway with a residential project in Dumbo called Waterbridge 47, a 25-unit condo building, and two residential buildings in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.