Crain’s New York

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.

New York Post

When Vinny D’Andraia showed up at The Bergen, the new rental building just on the border of Park Slope and Boerum Hill, he had zero interest in mincing words about the rental market.

“It’s been awful,” he asserted.

D’Andraia had spent four days looking at one-bedrooms for himself and his girlfriend in Williamsburg, Prospect Heights, Park Slope and Fort Greene — all of which seemed too cramped, too dusty, too much in disrepair. So he decided to check out one of the new developments. When he called that morning, some of the less expensive one-bedrooms (under $3,000), were still on the market. But by 1 p.m., they were gone.

One can argue that this is a pretty typical experience for renters.

After a winter where rents looked like they were finally coming down and the vacancy rate looked as if it was edging up, the market reverted to form just in time for the heavy rental season.

According to figures released last week by real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel, the average rental in Manhattan rose 5.1 percent to $4,008. (Yes, the average apartment is over $4,000 per month.) And the vacancy rate dropped from 1.58 percent to 1.45 percent. In Brooklyn the average price of an apartment is not much lower at $3,209.

Yahoo! News

At 230 acres and just 4,400 residents, City Island is one of those rustic enclaves within the urban sprawl that is slow to change. But, as per the Times, even this nautical community is not immune to the condo boom gripping the rest of New York. In fact, the first new condos in 15 years are going up on the Bronx island’s eastern shore, facing the Long Island Sound. Developed by Greystone and designed by Kutnicki Bernstein Architects, sales for On the Sound’s 21 two-family homes and one single-family home will launch this spring, with asking prices for 2BRs starting in the high $400,000s. Three-bedrooms will be priced from the high $500,000s.

City Islanders have long displayed some NIMBY tendencies—opposing a bridge’s original design and being wary of a ferry that would deliver visitors to nearby burial ground Hart Island. They have always prized preserving their special pocket of the city. But On the Sound has caused little stir. The developer is building a waterfront esplanade for public use, its buildings are not tall (under the island’s 35-foot height limit), and the two-family units are designed to look like single-family homes—all cute and New England-y—just like most of its neighbors.

The Real Deal

A company tied to New York-based Greystone & Co. is the latest to make a land grab in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood.

The Greystone company, 2500 Biscayne Property, paid $10 million for a mixed-use building at 2500 Biscayne Boulevard and seven vacant parcels totaling 0.87 of an acre, according to Miami-Dade County records. Several companies managed by David and Rochelle Sokol sold the properties to 2500 Biscayne. The transaction closed on Friday.

No financing was recorded.

Greystone is already planning a multifamily project near Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. It formed a joint venture with Miami-based Alta Developers and Strategic Properties to develop a 13-story, 119-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail space.

A Greystone spokesperson told the Daily Business Review the company intends to develop the Edgewater site with the same partners. Project details were not disclosed. [Daily Business Review] — Eric Kalis

The New York Times

New condo developments on City Island, which hugs the eastern edge of the Bronx, aren’t proposed often, and residents of this 230-acre island have a history of being tough to please.

But On the Sound, a 43-unit condo development proposed for City Island’s “Gold Coast” on Long Island Sound, seems to have passed muster. The project will be the first large-scale residential development in about 15 years for City Island, a place that is reminiscent of a fishing village in New England and as such an anomaly within the borders of New York City.

With construction already underway and sales starting this fall, the development should see its first buyers moving in by fall 2015, said Thomas P. Ryan, a senior vice president of Greystone, the property development company building the gated complex. The project will consist of 21 two-family dwellings, as well as one single-family home and a clubhouse, clustered on five waterfront acres at 226 Fordham Place. Almost every unit will have water views.

New York Observer

For the moment, the grandeur of the interiors slated for the landmarked townhouse at 79 Horatio Street, in the West Village, remains a matter of faith. On a recent morning, the Observer joined Tom Ryan, senior head of operations at Greystone, which is developing the property, for a tour of the house. Carpentry crews went to and fro with measuring tape and saws amid raw wood and exposed wiring. Architect’s plans lay unfurled on a makeshift desk. “It takes vision,” Mr. Ryan allowed. Still, the home, which is due for completion this spring, and which went on the market last week with Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes of Douglas Elliman asking $22.5 million, already shows promise.

“Interest has been incredibly strong,” Mr. Ryan said. “And not from just tire-kickers, either. I’m talking about people whom—if you opened up the newspaper and saw them, you’d know who they are.”

A former tenement house that once belonged to real estate hoarder William Gottlieb, 79 Horatio has undergone the better portion of a gut renovation since last we wrote about it in July 2012, when in its unimproved condition it hoped to fetch $12.5 million. (Greystone eventually picked it up for $10.45 million, intending the single-family conversion now under way.) Since then, a central air shaft has vanished and white paint has been stripped from the facade to expose handsome red brick, which appeared to have been scorched by fire, and which has been immaculately restored. Original cornices, too, have been buffed to a lustrous polish.

The Real Deal

Midtown-based developer and financial services firm Greystone acquired two Clinton Hill development sites owned by Simon Dushinsky’s Rabsky Group, according to a spokesperson for Greystone. The projected value of the sites after they are redeveloped is a combined $50 million.

Greystone plans to build an unspecified number of high-end rental apartments at 529-533 Myrtle Avenue and 100-102 Steuben Street. Rabsky had filed plans in May to build a 27-unit, five-story apartment building at the Myrtle Avenue site, which now houses a White Castle restaurant. Karl Fischer was hired as the architect. A spokesperson said the details of Greystone’s rental project are still being determined.

The Myrtle Avenue site offers 30,000 buildable square feet, while the Steuben Street site, which houses a factory, offers 20,000 buildable square feet, according to PropertyShark. The purchase price of the buildings was not disclosed. — Mark Maurer

Curbed

The former warehouse at 139 North 10th Street will launch next month as 36 loft rental apartments, joining the ever growing list of born-again boom projects. Development firm Greystone finally did what two previous owners could not, and converted the 104-year-old warehouse from artists lofts to luxury rentals. HTO Architect PLLC executed the conversion, which preserves industrial elements like exposed beams, oversized tilt and turn windows, exposed brick columns, and 13-foot ceilings, and Durukan Design created the interior spaces. Most of the units will be one-bedrooms, for which prices start around $2,600 per month. There will be six two-bedrooms, starting at about $4,000, and two three-bedrooms, which will rent from approximately $5,950. There are no interior renderings yet, but two of the ground floor units will have 50-foot-long glass solariums, and one fifth-floor unit has a 225-square-foot terrace. All units have stainless steel appliances, farmhouse sinks, and natural stone countertops. Building amenities include a virtual doorman, video intercom system, laundry machines, bike storage, and a 2,500-square-foot of roof deck.A conversion of the building has been in the works for more than five years. The original owner, Ramon Maislen, planned to convert the building, but he couldn’t afford to buy out the artist tenants or actually fund the conversion. So he sold the building to Fortis Property Group in 2011 for $6.1 million. Public records show that Fortis sold it to Greystone just last year for $15.8 million. The building dates to 1910, which the brokerbabble calls “a momentous year: William Taft was president, The Boy Scouts incorporated, Paul Bunyan folklore was born and Printhouse Lofts originally joined New York’s industrial scene brick by mortared brick.” Because a Brooklyn warehouse is definitely as important as the Boy Scouts.

NY Observer

On a warm and misty morning last week, the Observer met Dave Maundrell, president and founder of Apartments and Lofts (aptsandlofts.com), at 139 North 10th Street in Williamsburg for a tour of the Printhouse Lofts building, whose leasing and marketing Mr. Maundrell is managing. Built in the early 1900s, the stately brick edifice was used over the years by a printing company (get it?) and a toy factory, and has lately been converted by Greystone to 36 luxury apartments. Greystone acquired the property last year for $15.8 million, following a brief game of hot potato among parties unwilling or financially unable to oversee the overhaul themselves. Dressed in a dark blazer over an untucked pink button-down, Mr. Maundrell was in a relaxed and buoyant mood; the product, he felt quite sure, would practically move itself. (Tom Ryan, senior head of operations at Greystone, was also on hand; if the building inspired trepidation in its previous stewards, he did not appear to have inherited it.)

We moved past an antique printing press, heavy and washed tastefully in rust, that had been installed in the lobby’s concrete floor, and up via elevator to the model unit, a “1.5 bedroom,” the like of which will be offered for $3,575 a month. (Within three hours of a recent email blast, Mr. Maundrell said that he’d compiled a list of 100 prospective renters and brokers interested in the building, and he expects prices to rise swiftly; showings will begin in the next two weeks.) As in many other recent industrial conversions, “authenticity” at the Printhouse Lofts has been commodified. “The kind of people who want to be in this area, more and more, they like the loft conversions, something that has a little more soul,” Mr. Maundrell said. “Always, we want to have nice kitchens and bathrooms, but other than that, you really want to let the bones speak for themselves.”

The Real Deal

Commercial lender and developer Greystone’s Printhouse Lofts at 139 North 10th Street are 50 percent leased — less than two weeks after hitting the market.

Situated in a 104-year-old former warehouse in Williamsburg, the luxury rentals came online last month following a long-delayed conversion. Greystone teamed with HTO Architect PLLC and Durukan Design to convert the property into 36 loft-style apartments, offering up 28 one-bedrooms, six two-bedrooms and two three-bedroom apartments. The ground-floor units boast 50-foot long solariums, while all the properties feature stainless steel appliances, farmhouse sinks and natural stone countertops, according to a release from Greystone.

The units range in price from $2,600 per month for a one-bedroom to $6,188 per month for a three-bedroom, and in size from approximately 400 square feet to over 1,000 square feet. Building amenities include a virtual doorman, video intercom system, laundry on all floors, bike storage and 2,500 square feet of shared roof space.

The planned building conversion hit a snag under previous owner Ramon Maislen, who did not have the funds to buy out the property’s previous artist tenants. Maislen consequently sold the property to Fortis Property Group in 2011 for $6.1 million. Fortis then flipped the building last year, selling to Greystone for $15.8 million, as The Real Deal reported at the time. — Julie Strickland