Hudson reaches ‘insider’ deal with Cobble Hill tenants

Real Estate Weekly
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 B7
Hudson reaches ‘insider’ deal with Cobble Hill tenants
The Hudson Companies
and the Cobble Hill Towers
Buyers Group have reahced
an agreement on terms for
the purchase of apartments at
Cobble Hill Towers.
Hudson is in the process
of converting the landmark
building to condominium
ownership through a noneviction plan.
As a result of the negotiated settlement, residents will
be able to purchase their units
at a “substantial discount,”
and it is expected that over
30% of the residents will buy
their units or agree to a buyout. An additional 25% of the
units are available for sale to
the general public.
Hudson principal David
Kramer said, “A large group
of tenants saw the opportunity
to own their own home, in a
residence they already know
and love.
“We’re very conscious of
the fact that Alfred Treadway White developed iconic
worker housing in 1879 and
that the second heroic phase
occurred in the late 1970’s
when Frank Farella saved
Cobble Hill Towers from arsonists and thugs to redevelop
affordable rental housing. We
see this as the appropriate
third phase — the chance for
middle class Brooklyners to
own their own homes and enjoy the most compelling sales
prices in all of Brownstone
Amanda Abry, a tenant
who is buying her apartment,
said, “My family loves living
here. t’s everything we love
about Cobble Hill — beautiful architecture, a unique and
historic building, and a sense
of community in the middle
of a big city. The courtyard is
like having a huge backyard –
we’re especially looking forward to using it this spring.
“We are excited to be in
contract to buy the apartment
we have been renting, and that
we’ve had the opportunity
to do so at an insider price.
This is our only opportunity
to ever own an apartment in
this neighborhood.”
Vacant apartments are
available for sale to the pub-
Amanda Abry, a tenant who is buying her apartment,
pictured with David Kramer in the Wisteria Courtyard at
Cobble Hill Towers.
lic through The Corcoran
Group. One bedrooms start at
$320,000 and two bedrooms
at $475,000.
“We have been overwhelmed with requests from
the first day that we went on
the market,” said Leslie Marshall of the Corcoran Group,
exclusive brokers on the project. “Buyers have been looking at, and making offers on,
every one, two and three bedroom apartment that we have
on the market. Surprisingly,
they are just as interested in
the unrenovated apartments
where they can do their own
upgrading, as they are in the
completely renovated, movein ready units.
“They are attracted by the
prime Cobble Hill location,
the excellent schools and other amenities in the neighborhood, and the prices, which
are less than other condos
being sold in the vicinity.”
In addition, one of the
critical terms of the agreement between Hudson and
the current tenants allows
residents to purchase other va-
cant apartments at a discount.
As a result, several tenants are
purchasing neighboring units
to expand their homes, while
other tenants who may have
admired other apartments
from afar are purchasing units
where they do not reside and
will be relocating to their new
homes. The first closings are
expected to occur in early
Cobble Hill Towers is a
nine-building complex with
188 units facing Warren, Baltic and Hicks Streets. Built in
1879, the buildings enclose
two private landscaped courtyards. Apartments have views
of Manhattan’s financial district and around Brooklyn.
The Hudson Companies
partnered with the long-time
owner of Cobble Hill Towers,
Frank Farella in 2008, and has
been managing and upgrading
the buildings since then. In
addition, Hudson initiated the
approved non-eviction condominium conversion plan,
which allows for tenants who
do not purchase their apartments to remain as renters.
Been there, Dunne that: CBRE suburban team predicts another busy year
The CB Richard Ellis New
York Institutional Group, led
by vice chairman Jeff Dunne,
ended 2010 on a $1B high
note. The team arranged the
disposition and recapitalization of investment grade
suburban properties worth
nearly $1 billion, carving
out a 39.8% market share for
all asset class sales in 2010,
as reported by Real Capital
Responsible for the sale of
the suburban region’s larg-
‘Parkologist’ Ezratty gearing up for sales
The City’s stock of parking garages are
trading, quietly and consistently, say parking
garage aficionados.
Eastern Consolidated’s Brian Ezratty
closed 10 parking garage deals last year and
he’s negotiated a 90 such transactions during
his 26-year tenure at Eastern, not including
dozens of parking lots that he sold as development sites to various New York City developers such as The Related Companies, Aby
Rosen, Tishman Hotels, Harry Macklowe,
The Albanese Organization, Mike Steinberg
and Goldman Sachs to name a few.
Ezratty arranged five sales leasebacks of
parking garages last year, worth a total price of
$44 million. Uptown and down, from the Upper West Side to Battery Park, Mr. Ezratty’s
transactions quietly occur citywide.
In addition, he leased out another five,
which include: 210 West 89th Street, 1820 Morton Street, 329 East 21st Street, The
Verdesian, in Battery Park City at 211 North
End Avenue, and an Upper West Side highrise apartment building garage.
According to Ezratty, ‘parkology,’ which
has become something of a hobby for him,
works well with his investment sales.
“When investment sales activity is slow,
doing parking garage deals can pick up the
slack. I always take note of the date a garage
lease expires if it happens to be a component
of a property I’m selling or repping a buyer
on, so that down the road, it might become a
candidate for a leasing deal.”
One of Ezratty’s most noteworthy leases
last year was the parking garage at 18-20
Morton Street, in the heart of Greenwich
It received lots of interest and eventually
traction because noted Ezratty, “It is situated
in a 24/7 location, in a highly trafficked area,
with a steady turnover of restaurants and
bars. It had all the components necessary for
a desirable garage lease.”
Hakimian launches solo career
Continued from Page B1
buildings in Tribeca and a hotel development site in the Times Square vicinity.
Hakimiam also plans to work with other
residential buildings, development sites and
office buildings, in addition to retail properties.
Most recently, Hakimian wrapped up the
$72 million sale of 1414 Sixth Avenue, representing both the buyer, Starwood Capital
Group, and seller, Murray Hill Properties. Starwood plans to convert the troubled 19-story
office building, which is mostly empty, into
a hotel.
Born on Long Island to Persian parents,
Hakimian graduated from Hofstra University
with a bachelor’s degree in finance.
He began his career in the precious gems
industry before switching to real estate. Within
a year, he had sold five Soho buildings, representing both buyer and seller. Over the next
several years as a top producer at Itzhaki,
he expanded his resume to include several
notable transactions, including the sale of the
Moondance Diner site on the corner of Sixth
Avenue and Grand Street, later developed into
the James Hotel.
In 2010, Hakimian sold a 48-unit residential elevator building on 65th Street between Central Park
and Lincoln Center,
and another 48-unit
elevator building on
91st Street between
Columbus Avenue
and Central Park.
He attributes his
ability to complete
deals and down-toearth personality
for his success.
Focus puts Cohen back on top
Continued from Page B1
undergoing radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Then, in August, after experiencing
difficulty breathing, he was diagnosed with
a heart issue —the result of his cancer treatments — that required surgery.
Now 24, Ashley Cohen graduated from
Marymount College in 2009 with a bachelor
of business management degree. She chose
to go into public relations and worked briefly
as the lifestyle division coordinator at a New
York City public relations firm, but left not
long after.
“I told her, ‘If someone’s going to abuse
you, let me abuse you,’” the elder Cohen
recalled telling his daughter in March, just
before he became ill.
“I needed her,” Cohen explained, noting
that working in tandem enabled them to combine his know-how of the business with her
mobility. “It turns out the customers liked her
better than me.”
For Ashley Cohen, the move into real estate
required lots of learning. Moreover, she said,
she had to overcome being a woman in a maledominated business.
“It was a whole new world for me,” she
said. “It’s been nerve wracking, but he held
my hand in the beginning.”
Cohen also learned to work with his daughter. “I didn’t yell at her,” Richie Cohen said
“I’m very surprised.”
Now, Ashley Cohen is learning more about
the real estate business with each passing day.
“We’re preparing her as if this is forever,”
Richie Cohen said. “She likes people and they
like her.”
She inspects properties with her dad and
sits alongside him as he negotiates deals. And
she’s been canvassing for clients.
And it appears she’s hooked. “Getting a
lead is the most exciting part,” she said. “I
love it. It’s been the best for me.”
As for her dad, he has returned to work and
to his daily workouts at Gold’s Gym in Deer
Park. And he is once again closing deals.
The cancer, he said, is gone, but he remains
on antibiotics to prevent a recurrence of the
heart valve infection. Nevertheless, Cohen
said he’s raring to pick up new business and
maintain his status as a CoStar Power Broker.
“I’m on the road to recovery.”
est — in terms of aggregate
dollar value — multi-family
and office sales, the team was
also CBRE’s top investment
sales team nationally in the
suburban markets.
Dunne’s team’s brings a
diverse background of professionals with over 100 years of
combined experience that encompass the sale and recap of
apartments, office, retail and
industrial assets in the suburban Metropolitan markets of
New York, Connecticut and
New Jersey.
Key members include senior vice president Kevin
Welsh, leading the New Jersey operations for office and
industrial; senior Vice Presi-
dent Steven Bardsley, who
focuses on office transactions
in Connecticut, Westchester
County and Long Island;
vice president Chris Leonard,
who heads up the apartment
sector; and senior associate
David Gavin, who oversees
all underwriting.
CB Richard Ellis was at
the forefront of the larger
consummated deals in 2010,
successfully closing several
of the suburban New York
region’s largest real estate
transactions, including:
• The $67.6 million sale of
100 Tice Boulevard in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, the
North American Headquarters
for Eisai, Inc.
• The $55 million sale of
Princeton Forrestal Village,
a mixed-use development
consisting on Route 1 in
Princeton, New Jersey.
• The $155 million sale
of Bank Street Commons, a
502-unit trophy apartment
community in downtown
White Plains, New York located in an irreplaceable site
adjacent to the White Plains
train station.
“Our team also completed
several note sales and recapitalizations and was fortunate
to close eight transactions in
December alone for over $500
million,” said Dunne. “Already in early 2011, we feel
this momentum continuing.”