Bed-Stuy vacant lot sells for $1.3M, after 15-year legal odyssey

Feige Oberlander buys 540 Willoughby Avenue (Credit - Google)

Feige Oberlander buys 540 Willoughby Avenue (Credit - Google)

Feige Oberlander paid $1.3 million for the 20-foot wide development parcel (V0) at 540 Willoughby Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, through a foreclosure auction. The prior owner was a company controlled by Danny Siony, which acquired title in 2008 to then three-family home, through a no-consideration deed transfer.
The building has been troubled for nearly 20 years, according to city records with building violations and a three-alarm fire.

A caller in 2006 alleged the property was illegally converted to a single-room occupancy building. In July 2007, an investor, Carmen Berry, paid $775,000 for the building, borrowing $652,500 from Countrywide Home Loans to finance the purchase in two pieces, one for $580,000 and another for $72,500.

But then in late 2007 a three-alarm fire severely damaged the top floors of the building, and callers to the Department of Buildings alleged the building was open and falling apart.
A DOB inspector visited the property on New Year’s Eve 2007 and reported, “fire caused third [floor] and party walls to collapse at 3rd & 2nd [floors], badly burnt wood structure and broken windows.”
In January 2008, Berry assigned the deed to Danny Siony’s entity 540 Willoughby Avenue LLC with no consideration, and no assignment of the debt.

Bank of America acquired the two notes in 2012, and filed a satisfaction of the smaller loan in 2015. That same year it assigned the $580,000 to a company called Community Restoration Corporation.
The building remained open and in poor condition, according to additional calls to DOB, until the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development submitted a request to demolish it in 2011, which was completed by December 2011, four years after the fire.
In 2017, the Community Restoration Corp. filed a pre-foreclosure action 514552/2017, claiming a default in the $580,000 loan. The court approved a sale through a judgment of foreclosure and sale that was entered in June 2018. To block that, 540 Willoughby Avenue LLC filed bankruptcy. 1-18-43292-ess
In 2019, Community Restoration Corp. assigned the debt to 2016 Real Estate Investors Partners LLC
In June 2020, an Isaac Broyn filed plans for a six-unit, four-story residential building with 3,982 square feet, but the city never issued a permit and the plan was categorized as “closed” in September of 2020.

The deal closed on March 1, 2023 and was recorded on March 6, 2023.
The property has zero square feet of built space and 4,000 square feet of additional air rights for a total buildable of 4,000 square feet according to PincusCo analysis of city data. The sale price per buildable square foot is $332 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 signatory for the seller was the referee Sheldon Fleishman. The signatory for Feige Oberlander was Feige Oberlander. Feige Oberlander also goes by the name Peggy Oberlander.

Prior sales and revenue

Prior to this transaction, Pincusco has no record that the buyer Feige Oberlander had purchased any other properties and has no record it sold any properties over the past 24 months.
The former owners according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development includes Gertrude Du Font, individual owner and Albert Joseph, site manager.

The property

The 540 Willoughby Avenue parcel has frontage of 20 feet and is 100 feet deep with a total lot size of 2,000 square feet. The zoning is R6B which allows for up to 2 times floor area ratio (FAR) for residential with inclusionary housing. The city-designated market value for the property in 2022 is $184,000.

The neighborhood

In Bedford Stuyvesant, the bulk, or 34 percent of the 53.8 million square feet of commercial built space are elevator buildings, with walkup buildings next occupying 30 percent of the space. In sales, Bedford Stuyvesant has 2.4 times the average sales volume among other neighborhoods with $822.9 million in sales volume in the last two years and is the 4th highest in Brooklyn. For development, Bedford Stuyvesant has 3.8 times the average amount of major developments relative to other neighborhoods and is the 4th highest in Brooklyn. It had 3.9 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 development buildings in the past 12 months.

The block

On this tax block, PincusCo has identified the owners of eight of the 13 commercial properties representing 83,715 square feet of the 91,176 square feet. The largest owner is Sam Horo, followed by Omni New York and then Nick Soto.
On the tax block, there is one DOB plan, for a two-unit, 3,529-square-foot R-3 building developed by Asher Alon with plans filed August 7, 2014 and permitted June 24, 2016.

The majority, or 95 percent of the 91,176 square feet of built space are walkup buildings, with mixed-use buildings next occupying 5 percent of the space.

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