Bentley Zhao, CEO of New Empire Corp. submitted a new building construction project for a 132-unit, 106,549 square-foot residential (R-2) building at 757 Flatbush Avenue in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The plan was filed with the New York City Department of Buildings on July 18, 2023 under job number B00902739. It calls for the construction of a nine-story building. The project is described in the filing as: construct a new nine-story mixed use building. The architect is Morali Architecture.
This is at least the fifth new building project New Empire has filed since May 2022. The other four are 2795 Cropsey Avenue, 58-01 Queens Boulevard, 24-03 Queens Plaza North and 429 Second Avenue in Manhattan.
The most recent loan totaled $10 million and was provided by Columbia Capital on October 24, 2022.
Prior sales and revenue
This property was sold with 5 other properties by Steven Neuman for $18 million to New Empire Corp. on October 24, 2022.
Violations and lawsuits
According to city public data, the property has received two DOB violations in the last year.
There were no lawsuits or bankruptcies filed against the property for the past 24 months.
In Flatbush, The majority, or 54 percent of the 37.4 million square feet of commercial built space are elevator buildings, with walkup buildings next occupying 22 percent of the space. In sales, Flatbush has near average sales volume among other neighborhoods with $399.6 million in sales volume in the last two years and is the 18th highest in Brooklyn. For development, Flatbush has near average amount of major developments among other neighborhoods and is the 13th 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 3 percent of the neighborhood’s built space.
On this tax block, PincusCo has identified the owners of 20 of the 32 commercial properties representing 593,957 square feet of the 666,508 square feet. The largest owner is Barry Hers, followed by Bluejay Management and then Candor Capital. On the tax block, there were three new building construction projects totaling 166,312 square feet. The largest is a 132-unit, 106,549 square-foot residential (R-2) building submitted by New Empire Corp. and filed by Bentley Zhao with plans filed July 18, 2023 and it has not been permitted yet. The second largest is a 43-unit, 32,956 square-foot residential (R-2) building submitted by Marc Jacobowitz and filed by Marc Jacobowitz with plans filed March 30, 2020 and permitted January 28, 2022.
The PincusCo database currently indicates that New Empire Corp. owned at least 16 commercial properties with 336 residential units in New York City with 184,876 square feet. The portfolio has $319.5 million in debt, with top three lenders as Fortress Investment Group, Popular Bank, and Axos Bank respectively. Within the portfolio, the bulk, or 40 percent of the 184,876 square feet of built space are elevator properties, with D6 properties next occupying 26 percent of the space. The bulk, or 50 percent of the built space, is in Manhattan, with Brooklyn next at 46 percent of the space.
Within a 400-foot radius of 759 Flatbush Avenue, PincusCo identified four commercial real estate items of interests occurred over the past 24 months. Of those four items, one was for major renovation including a certificate of occupancy change. It was a permit issued on January 17, 2022 for the $4.4 million renovation of 20,296-square-foot residential (R-2) building with 27 residential units at 779 Flatbush Avenue. Of those four items, three were loans above $5 million totaling $82.3 million. The most recent of the three was Bluejay Management in which borrowed $17.3 million from Bank of Princeton secured by the 0-square-foot development site (V0) on 45 Lenox Road on March 25, 2022.