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A blog for breaking sales, leasing and neighborhood real estate news.

An apartment building at 235 South Lexington Avenue, located on the corner of South Lexington and Maple Avenues in White Plains, New York, was sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $24,250,000.

The 13-story, 191-unit elevator serviced building contains approximately 222,155 square feet and sits on an 80,586 square foot lot.  It consists of 186 residential units, five office suites, and 209 on-site parking spaces.  The residential unit mix comprises three studio units, 97 one-bedroom units, 74 two-bedroom units, and 12 three-bedroom units.  The building features four elevators and an on-site laundry facility.  The sale price equates to approximately $109 per square foot, a 5.9% capitalization rate, and $130,376 per residential unit.

This property offers tremendous upside potential and is centrally located one block from White Plains Hospital and near City Center on Mamaroneck Avenue.  The Metro-North station is less than one mile away and the Bronx River Parkway and I-287 are in close proximity as well.

“This represents one of the largest sales transactions to occur in Westchester County in the recent past,” said Massey Knakal’s Thomas A. Donovan, who exclusively handled this transaction.  “There is tremendous growth potential for this neighborhood, which is highlighted by the development of an approximately 250,000 square foot retail center nearby,” he continued.

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Neighborhoods: Westchester County/ Agents: Thomas Donovan

Massey Knakal Is Hiring

4/15/2014 10:02:50 AM/ Massey Knakal/ News - General Real Estate News

Massey Knakal's sophisticated training programs and rigorous certification board are peerless among realty services firms, ensuring that our agents are the most disciplined, skilled and talented in the industry. Creating the best work environment is something we strive for on a daily basis, and intelligence, integrity, professionalism and passion are the keys to maintaining it. Talented individuals are valued at Massey Knakal.

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Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell a mixed-use building at 258 Wythe Avenue. The property is located between Metropolitan Avenue and North 3rd Street in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. The asking price is $7,300,000.

The four-story walkup building contains approximately 6,444 square feet and sits on a 33’ x 50’ irregular lot.  It consists of a ground floor commercial unit, occupied by a restaurant, and three vacant full-floor loft units above. 

The building is located within three blocks of the waterfront and offers an excellent investment opportunity in a vibrant neighborhood.

This property is being marketed exclusively by Massey Knakal’s James Nelson, Mark Lively, and Brendan Maddigan.

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Agents: James Nelson, Mark Lively

Massey Knakal Realty Services has sold a development site located at 560 Seventh Avenue in a transaction valued at $62,305,000. The site is located on the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and West 40th Street in Times Square, and was purchased by Soho Properties and MHP Real Estate Services.

The subject site is a prime corner development opportunity at the base of Times Square and is located in an M1-6 zone in the Special Midtown District, allowing for hotel and/or commercial development. Zoning allows for up to approximately 98,760 buildable square feet as-of-right, and up to a maximum of about 128,388 buildable square feet through bonuses and/or transfers.

The building was home to Parsons The New School for Design and has a long-term lease through 2076 with the Garment Center Congregation, which currently occupies a portion of the ground floor and basement. Any development transaction would be required to include an acceptable arrangement with the congregation.

“This sale at $631 per buildable square foot is indicative of the continued strength of the expanding Times Square district. This site will be the home of a new Dream Hotel, adding to the growing allure of the area,” stated Massey Knakal Chairman Bob Knakal, who marketed the site exclusively with Director of Sales David Kalish.

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Neighborhoods: Midtown West/ Agents: Robert Knakal

More than 500 commercial owners, investors, developers and other real estate professionals came together on April 1st for a full-day event focused on New York’s trends in operations, mid-sized property transactions, and financing for retail and office properties at the Massey Knakal Commercial Real Estate Investment Summit. The fourth annual event featured over 50 speakers, several panels, workshops and networking opportunities.
The morning keynote interview included Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties, Inc., a Manhattan-based real estate development and investment firm that has developed, owned and managed 35 million square feet of office, residential, hotel and retail space. He spoke about the World Trade Center from start to finish and the growth of Downtown Manhattan.  He gave insight into new technology for building development and why his firm is consistently ranked one of the best places to work.
Before his keynote interview with Massey Knakal Partner James P. Nelson, Larry Silverstein was presented with the Massey Knakal Lifetime Achievement Award which is awarded by the firm to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the real estate industry.

“New York City, the real estate community, and our company are eternally grateful for all Mr. Silverstein has done for the industry and our community. He is an example for us all to persevere in challenging times and to have faith in our city. His charitable endeavors urge all of us to do our parts,” said Massey Knakal’s James Nelson.

The afternoon keynote presentation featured Joel Picket, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Gotham Organization, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiaries including Gotham Construction.  The presentation highlighted his leadership role in the fourth generation company and his philanthropic work.

Additionally, addresses were given by Haim Chera of Crown Acquisitions, Michael Happel of American Realty Capital New York Recovery REIT, Albert Laboz of United American Land, Scott Rechler of RxR Realty, and Jonathan Resnick from Jack Resnick & Sons.  Bob Knakal, Chairman of Massey Knakal, gave an expanded market update to the audience with an inside look at the commercial real estate industry.
For event photos visit:

Photo 1: Bob Knakal gives market update.
Photo 2: James Nelson, Larry Silverstein, Paul J. Massey, Jr.
Photo 3: Joey Picket, Paul J. Massey, Jr.

Agents: James Nelson, Robert Knakal

In the latest installment of the Knakal News Network, Bob Knakal and Jonathan Hageman talk about their game plan.

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Agents: Robert Knakal

Massey Knakal Retail Leasing Services has been retained on an exclusive basis by The Moinian Group to secure a retail tenant for 37 West 17th Street, a high volume restaurant and retail location near Union Square.
The space is approximately 2,200 square feet with a full basement and benefits from 13.5-foot high ceilings. Neighboring tenants include Basta Pasta, Le Petite Abielle, BLT Fish, Rennert’s Gallery, and Charles P. Rodgers.
“New developments in Chelsea and The Flatiron District have created a positive impact for this neighborhood, driving a high demand for new restaurants, retailers and fitness concepts,” said Massey Knakal’s Michael Azarian, who is exclusively marketing this space with David Chkheidze

“We are excited about this partnership with Massey Knakal and we are looking forward to finding the perfect tenant for this location,” said Isabelle Sedghi, Vice President, Leasing, The Moinian Group.

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Neighborhoods: Union Square/ Agents: David Chkheidze, Michael Azarian

By: Betty Castro, Massey Knakal Realty Services

After raising my kids in the suburbs of Long Island, I was ready for the next chapter in my life. My husband and I are empty nesters and still quite young by today’s standards. Whenever we were in Manhattan, whether for a show, dinner or just passing through, we would get the itch for city life again. We missed the excitement, energy and nightlife. So when I decided to join Massey Knakal Realty Services, it was just the impetus we needed to start looking for an apartment in New York City.  

I needed to be close to Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, so there was flexibility in terms of location. We kept hearing about the expansion to the outer boroughs and that popular line… “Brooklyn is the new Manhattan.”  

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Corporates: Betty Castro

A commercial building at 161 East 32nd Street, located between Lexington and Third Avenues in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood, was sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $3,600,000.

The vacant two-story building contains approximately 4,719 square feet and sits on a 25’ x 98.75’ lot.  It sits in a residential zoning district (R8B) but has a commercial certificate of occupancy allowing a unique opportunity to continue use as an office building or the possibility for conversion to its districts conforming use of residential. The air rights from the property had been sold, eliminating any future development potential. The building had been owner-occupied for many years for use as a telephone communication systems business consisting of offices, workstations, showrooms and storage throughout. The basement is built a full 98.75 feet on the lot with a separate street access and high ceilings, providing excellent storage or back office space.  The sale price equates to approximately $763 per square foot.

This property is located in the vibrant and highly desirable Murray Hill/Kips Bay neighborhoods, steps from the Lexington Avenue subway line.

“With multiple offers near the asking price from end-users, this sale demonstrates how rare it is to find a one or two-story building without any air rights where a local business owner can actually have a chance to compete to purchase a building in Midtown. Typically these buildings have unused air rights and the end-user loses out to the developer,” said Massey Knakal’s John F. Ciraulo, who exclusively handled this transaction with Craig M. Waggner. “The purchaser was an ophthalmologist with a flourishing business that needed more space, had been looking for years to buy something and needed to be in the area where his patients are located. Once renovated, and with possibility to rent out the second floor, this property will prove to be an excellent work/investment opportunity,” added Waggner.

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Neighborhoods: Murray Hill/ Agents: John Ciraulo

Massey Knakal Capital Services is pleased to announce the closing of a $10.5 million cash-out refinancing collateralized by a portfolio of owner-occupied properties consisting of a bar/restaurant and hotel in Manhattan’s Midtown West.   The loan featured a 10-year term with a fixed-rate at 4.75%.

"This was a great opportunity to pair highly experienced owner/operators with a lender who truly understood their business. After restructuring their portfolio, we were able to reduce their interest rate by 100 bps, and cash-out substantial proceeds to further build their NYC portfolio,” said Massey Knakal’s Preston Flammang, who exclusively handled this transaction.

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Neighborhoods: Midtown West/ Agents: Preston Flammang

On May 2nd, Massey Knakal will be at the NJ Statewide Career & Internship Fair at the Rutgers-New Brunswick Sonny Werblin Recreation Center.   Nearly 150 employment organizations seeking to fill full-time, internship, and summer positions will network with more than 3,000 candidates.

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Neighborhoods: Hudson County/ Corporates: David Simon

Massey Knakal Retail Leasing Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to secure a retail tenant for 859 Ninth Avenue, located on the corner of Ninth Avenue and West 56th Street in Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood.

The space contains approximately 4,250 square feet on the ground floor with 11-foot high ceilings, and an additional 2,200 square feet of basement space. It features incredible visibility, with approximately 140 feet of frontage on one of New York City’s hottest retail corridors in a location with extremely high foot traffic.  The space already has a full liquor license in place and sidewalk seating is possible.  Formerly an upscale Italian restaurant, it has been recently renovated with venting and a full kitchen is in place.  All uses will be considered.

This space is conveniently located two blocks from the Columbus Circle subway station and in proximity to Lincoln Center and the Broadway Theater District.  Neighboring tenants include Alvin Ailey, Citibank, Chase, Route 66, Kashkaval, Noodies, Bar Bacon, and Bocca di Bacco.

“This is unquestionably the largest and most visible corner retail space to come to market on Ninth Avenue in many years and it is getting a tremendous amount of attention,” said Massey Knakal’s Dylan Murphy, who is exclusively marketing this space with David Chkheidze.  “Beyond the expected demand from local eateries, nightlife, and bank tenants, there is strong interest from retail sectors that are new to Hell’s Kitchen. There are white glove fine dining establishments, upscale apparel retailers, and chic home décor concepts that are seriously considering the extraordinary storefront,” Dylan continued.

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Neighborhoods: Midtown West/ Agents: David Chkheidze, Dylan Murphy

By, Dylan Murphy, Massey Knakal Retail Leasing Services

“Hell’s Kitchen” brings to mind Irish gangsters, underground speakeasies and a general film noir mystique that has foiled every intention to rename the area “Clinton” or “Midtown West.” The neighborhood’s residents and business owners alike take a definite pride in the district’s extremely colorful past.  Taking a stroll down Ninth Avenue, the neighborhood’s primary retail center, it seems that nearly every business on the strip has either “Hell’s Kitchen” or “HK” in its name or branding. However, while they are still projecting a certain “edgy” sensibility, the Ninth Avenue corridor in the West 40s and 50s has become home to some of the finest dining and nightlife establishments in the city. Even though the neighborhood has been slowly developing for the last 15 – 20 years, the Ninth Avenue retail corridor has exploded. Patrons are flocking from all over the city to partake in the neighborhood’s seemingly never ending variety of eating and drinking experiences. This incredible influx of revenue has caused skyrocketing retail rents that are driving real estate values to record levels and creating an intense competition between New York’s top restaurateurs to open Hell’s Kitchen outposts. It is clear that this trend will only continue.

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Neighborhoods: Midtown West/ Agents: Dylan Murphy

Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell the apartment buildings at 220 Avenue A. The properties are located between East 13th and East 14th Streets in Manhattan’s East Village. The asking price is $7,950,000.

The offering consists of two buildings on an approximately 25.75’ x 96’ lot.  The main building is a five-story walkup that contains approximately 6,566 of above grade square feet with ten residential units. The rear building contains approximately 3,476 of above grade square feet with six residential units. In addition, there is approximately 2,200 of below grade square feet that are part of the duplex units. Of the 16 total units, 14 are fair market and two are rent stabilized.  The zoning of the property allows for retail, therefore the main building could offer an investor an excellent opportunity to convert the ground floor to a retail unit.

“With average residential rents at well below market, this is a great opportunity for a buyer to significantly improve net operating income by bringing rents to market levels, while owning an asset that will benefit tremendously from the neighborhood upswing, anchored by Extell Development’s 14th Street redevelopment,” said James Nelson, who is exclusively marketing the properties with Michael DeCheser and Matthew Nickerson.

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Neighborhoods: East Village/ Agents: James Nelson, Michael DeCheser

Two adjacent multifamily buildings at 222-224 West 21st Street, located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, were sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $16,750,000.

The two buildings combine for approximately 20,120 square feet on a 46.75’ x 106.46’ lot with 23 residential units.  Built in 1920, they offer over 46 feet of frontage along a beautiful tree-line street in the heart of Chelsea.  The properties benefits from a unique unit mix, with three studios, six one-bedrooms, nine two-bedrooms, one three-bedroom, and four four-bedroom units.  All units are free market and most have been recently renovated and feature large open kitchens and living spaces, as well as updated bathrooms and appliances.  The sale price equates to approximately $833 per square foot.

“Achieving a multiple of 20 times rent for a property that is not subject to rent regulation is new for Chelsea. We’re seeing this pricing at a few other properties we are currently marketing in the neighborhood, and we’re sure we’ll see a few more sales at or above this pricing level for comparable properties by year’s end,” said Massey Knakal’s Brock Emmetsberger, who exclusively handled this transaction with CEO Paul J. Massey, Jr.

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Neighborhoods: Chelsea/ Agents/Corporates: Brock Emmetsberger, Paul Massey Jr.

Garrett Thelander, Executive Managing Director - Capital Services, will be a speaker at Bisnow's 5th annual NYC Capital Markets Summit on April 9th.  The event will feature some of the country's leading commercial real estate figures for a look at the equity and debt markets.

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Corporates: Garrett Thelander

A lease with an option to buy is a rare and attractive option for someone looking to live in a house before making the ultimate decision to purchase. This structure would allow for a much more relaxed process, where the buyer could take time to obtain financing. It could also be much more cost effective.

Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell a townhouse at 118 Washington Place. The property is located between Sixth Avenue and West 4th Street in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village Historic District.  The asking price is $7,995,000.

Ownership has now offered a prospective buyer the ability to lease the owner’s triplex for $15,000 per month. These rental payments would be credited towards a purchase when and if the tenant ultimately bought the property.

These rental payments could be significantly less than the carrying costs if purchased. If a buyer received 60% financing for the house at 3.5% interest, the debt service alone would be about $270,000 per year. Real estate and operating taxes would be an additional amount of about $50,000. Combined these ownership costs are well above the rental amount. However, appreciation is a large consideration that renting does not afford. The potential buyer would have the best of both worlds if renting, while values continue to increase. 

The four-story newly-renovated townhouse contains approximately 3,106 square feet and sits on an 18’ x 71’ lot.  It consists of a one-bedroom garden unit which is currently being rented for $4,700 per month, an owner’s triplex unit, and an almost 30 foot southern facing rear yard.  Plans exist for an easy conversion to a single family. This townhouse is located on one of the most desirable blocks in Manhattan and it benefits from original detail and tremendous light with a setback sunroom.

“2013 saw multiple finished townhouse sales eclipsing the $3,000 per square foot mark.  49 Barrow Street, 281 West 4th Street, and 75 ½ Bedford Street are just a few that were at the top of the 2013 sales market with 49 Barrow Street selling at $3,684 per square foot.  In relation, 118 Washington is a great value,” said Massey Knakal’s James P. Nelson, who is exclusively marketing this property with Mitchell Levine.

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Neighborhoods: Greenwich Village/ Agents: James Nelson

Two retail condominiums situated in Barbizon/63 at 817 Lexington Avenue, located on the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 63rd Street in Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood, were sold in an all-cash transaction valued at $48,200,000.

The fully-leased condominiums consist of the ground floor, second floor, cellar, and two sub-cellars of Barbizon/63, a landmarked luxury condominium property embodying a blend of Late Gothic Revival and Italian Renaissance.  They total approximately 47,197 square feet and feature over 178 feet of frontage on the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 63rd Street.  Equinox controls both retail condominiums with long-term leases, of which they sublease a portion to SoulCycle. Interestingly, the majority of the space was below grade. The sale price equates to approximately $1,021 per square foot or a 2.3% cap rate.

Situated in a premier retail location, these condominiums are surrounded by national tenants including Bloomingdale’s, Levi’s, Diesel, H&M, Crate & Barrel, Urban Outfitters.

“We had tremendous interest in the properties, which, along with the price, is a testament to the growing strength of the Lexington Avenue retail market just north of Bloomingdale’s,” said Massey Knakal’s Clint Olsen, who exclusively handled this transaction with Chairman Bob Knakal.

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Neighborhoods: Midtown East/ Agents: Clint Olsen, Robert Knakal

Massey Knakal Realty Services has been retained on an exclusive basis to sell a commercial building at 60-15 Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens. The property runs block-through on Myrtle Avenue between 60th Lane and 60th Street while also fronting the south side of 71st Avenue.  The asking price is $3,499,000.

The three-story building sits on a 41.25’ x 138’ irregular lot and consists of approximately 15,840 square feet above grade plus a full usable basement that contains 5,280 square feet for a total of 21,120 square feet.  It benefits from two elevators and dual means of egress and features brand new front and rear facades and a new roof. The second and third floors consist of open loft space with high ceilings and elevator access, offering an ideal conversion opportunity to residential apartments, loft studios, music/art studios, or medical/professional offices.  The building will be delivered vacant.

This property is located in Ridgewood, a vibrant, emerging neighborhood of Queens.  It is conveniently accessible via the L train.

“Over the past few months, demand for retail, residential and conversion properties has skyrocketed, as Ridgewood continues to evolve into a trendy New York City neighborhood,” said Massey Knakal’s Thomas A. Donovan, who is exclusively marketing this property.

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Neighborhoods: Ridgewood/ Agents: Thomas Donovan

By: Brendan Gotch, Massey Knakal Retail Leasing Services

With all the uproar over the continuously developing retail markets surrounding it, the quiet transformation of Broadway in NoHo has gone all but unnoticed. In SoHo, rents can now top $1,000 per square foot for the most valuable space, while in Union Square, H&M has signed a lease for nearly 40,000 square feet. Even other parts of NoHo have drawn their share of attention with the arrival of high fashion tenants like John Varvatos and Intermix on the Bowery. In spite of the fervor over all of the areas encircling it, the buzz has largely missed the changes on Broadway.

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Neighborhoods: NoHo/ Agents: Brendan Gotch