UPDATED 9:52 a.m., Mar. 31, 2022: Abraham Leifer’s Aview Equities through the entity 232 Seigel Spv LLC paid $10.5 million to a bankruptcy trustee for Heritage Equity Partners’ midblock 150-unit hotel development site at 232 Seigel Street in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Heritage entity was 232 Seigel Acquisitions LLC.
This sale comes two years after Aview signed a contract to buy the property, according to an affidavit Leifer signed, based on a discount of a $22 million asking price. Court records in a suit Heritage Equity Partners’ Toby Moskovits brought against her lenders this month say he was willing to pay $18 million in the fall of 2019, which would have satisfied the judgments at the time. But one of the lenders, according to the Leifer affidavit, told him to, “Wait until I foreclose, and you will buy it cheaper from me.” A few months later, Leifer saw she still owned it, and he signed a contract to buy it in early 2020, however, due to Covid, Leifer could not close, he said in his affidavit.
The deal closed on March 22, 2022 and was recorded on March 30, 2022. The property is a planned 120,673-square-foot hotel, according to PincusCo analysis of city data. The sale price per built square foot is $87 per the PincusCo analysis. (The price per square foot analysis is the transaction price divided by square feet as reported in public records and assumes no air rights have been sold.)
The seller bought the property on December 16, 2014, for $28.2 million, which included multiple development sites. The signatory for the bankrupt entity was Howard P. Magaliff. The signatory for Aview Equities was Abraham Leifer. Abraham Leifer is the founder and president of Aview Equities. Toby Moskovits’s Williamsburg Hotel entity filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2020, the Commercial Observer reported, which was later converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Prior sales and revenue
Prior to this transaction, Pincusco has no record that the buyer Aview Equities had purchased any other properties and sold three properties in two transactions for a total of $41.7 million over the past 24 months.
The 232 Seigel Street parcel has frontage of 184 feet and is 100 feet deep with a total lot size of 18,492 square feet. The zoning is M1-2 which allows for up to 2 times floor area ratio (FAR) for manufacturing The city-designated market value for the property in 2022 is $1.4 million.
Violations and lawsuits
The property was involved in three lawsuits over the past two years. The highest value suit was a $50 million money judgment concerning a loan filed on March 7, 2022, by Toby Moskovits and Yechiel Lichtenstein against Richmond Hill Investment. In addition, according to city public data, the property has received eight DOB violations, $19,125 in ECB penalties in the last year.
On these lots, there is one active new building construction project for a 150-unit, 84,275-square-foot hotel (R-1) building. The project was filed May 27, 2015.
In East Williamsburg, the majority, or 58 percent of the 17.8 million square feet of commercial built space are industrial buildings, with residential walkup buildings next occupying 9 percent of the space. In sales, East Williamsburg has 1.2 times the average sales volume among other neighborhoods with $335.5 million in sales volume in the last two years and is the 12th highest in Brooklyn. For development, East Williamsburg has 1.4 times the average amount of major developments relative to other neighborhoods and is the 15th highest in Brooklyn. It had 1.3 million square feet of commercial and multi-family construction under development in the last two years, which represents 7 percent of the neighborhood’s built space. There was one pre-foreclosure suit filed among other hotel buildings in the past 12 months.
The PincusCo database currently indicates that Aview Equities owned at least two commercial properties with 59,844 square feet and a city-determined market value of $11.4 million. (Market value is typically about 50% of actual value.) The portfolio has $168.8 million in debt, with top three lenders as Parkview Financial, G4 Capital Partners, and Merchants Bank of Indiana respectively. Within the portfolio, the bulk, or 58 percent of the 59,844 square feet of built space are residential elevator properties, with development properties next occupying 42 percent of the space. The bulk, or 58 percent of the built space, is in Manhattan, with Brooklyn next at 42 percent of the space.
PincusCo has not identified any commercial real estate items of interest within a 400-foot radius of 232 Seigel Street that occurred over the past 24 months.
UPDATED 9:52 a.m., Mar. 31, 2022 with information on Abraham Leifer’s prior contract for the property.
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