Robert Saffayeh pays $11.25M Catholic Church for dev site in South Slope

228 13th Street (Credit: Goolge)

Robert Saffayeh through the entity 205 14th Street LLC paid $11.25 million to the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family for 228 13th Street and 205 14th Street in South Slope, Brooklyn.
The deal closed on March 23, 2022 and was recorded on April 1, 2022.The two properties have 29,475 square feet of built space and 10,289 square feet of additional air rights for a total buildable of 39,690 square feet according to PincusCo analysis of city data. The sale price per built square foot is $381 and the price per buildable square foot is $283 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 signatories for the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family were Rafael J. Perez and Anna Chen. The signatory for Robert Saffayeh was Yevgeny Tsyngauz. PincusCo exclusively reported on this transaction in November 2021 after the sale went into contract. The brokers were JLL’s Guthrie Garvin and Winfield Clifford.

Because multiple properties have been transacted, some of the following sections will follow the property with the largest assessed value, which in this case, is the property on 228 13th Street.

Prior sales and revenue

Prior to this transaction, PincusCo has records that the buyer Robert Saffayeh purchased two properties in two transactions for a total of $8.2 million and has no record it sold any properties over the past 24 months.

The property

The 228 13th Street parcel has frontage of 126 feet and is 200 feet deep with a total lot size of 14,178 square feet. The lot is irregular. 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 $3.2 million.

Violations and lawsuits

The properties were involved in one legal filing and no bankruptcies over the past two years. The court petition was a $11.2 million filing concerning approval to sell from the court filed on November 8, 2021, by the Church of the Holy Family in the City of Brooklyn allowing Saffayeh Development LLC and Robert Saffayeh to buy the property.


There are no active new building construction projects or major alteration projects with initial costs more than $5 million on this tax lot.

The neighborhood

In South Slope, the bulk, or 42 percent of the 9.4 million square feet of commercial built space are 1-4 family buildings, with residential walkup buildings next occupying 23 percent of the space. In sales, South Slope has 1.2 times the average sales volume among other neighborhoods with $322.9 million in sales volume in the last two years and is the 13th highest in Brooklyn. For development, South Slope has had very little major development activity relative to other neighborhoods.It had 91,369 square feet of commercial and multi-family construction under development in the last two years, which represents 0.98 percent of the neighborhood’s built space.

The block

On the tax block of 228 13th Street, PincusCo has identified the owners of four of the 10 commercial properties representing 45,377 square feet of the 65,051 square feet. The largest owner is City of New York, followed by Laura Hobgood and then Tonka Realty. There is one active new building construction project totaling 4,000 square feet. It is a two-unit, 4,000-square-foot R-3 building developed by Gully Patel with plans filed November 10, 2020 and it has not been permitted yet.

The majority, or 51 percent of the 182,395 square feet of built space are specialty buildings, with 1-4 family buildings next occupying 31 percent of the space.

The buyer

The PincusCo database currently indicates that Robert Saffayeh owned at least two commercial properties with 14,536 square feet and a city-determined market value of $5.2 million. (Market value is typically about 50% of actual value.) The portfolio has $5.3 million in debt, borrowed from Valley National Bank. Within the portfolio, the bulk, or 69 percent of the 14,536 square feet of built space are specialty properties, with 1-4 family properties next occupying 31 percent of the space. They are all located in Brooklyn.


Within a 400-foot radius of 228 13th Street, Pincusco identified six commercial real estate items of interests occurred over the past 24 months.
Of those six items, two were sales above $5 million totaling $84.5 million. The most recent of the two was Greenbrook Partners which bought the 23,500-square-foot, 25-unit rental (C1) on 227 13thstreet for $8.5 million from Stephen Green on March 2, 2021.
Of those six items, four were loans above $5 million totaling $95.5 million. The most recent of the four was Tonka Realty which borrowed $5 million from Republic First Bank secured by the 4,000-square-foot, one-unit mixed-use building (K2) on 522 5th Avenue and one other property on May 26, 2021.

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