Watermark Capital Group through signatory Wolfe Landau signed a contract to pay the Roman Catholic Church Diocese of Brooklyn $13 million for a development site at 341 Highland Boulevard in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. The contract was disclosed in a statutorily required filing in which a church must obtain New York State court approval to sell a significant asset such as a building. LINK
According to the petition the church filed, “Purchaser intends to remove the Building from the Land and thereafter undertake and complete the ground-up construction of a new building(s).” The petition identifies the brokerage firm as Jones Lang LaSalle, known as JLL. Steven Rutman of JLL has a listing that describes it as, “A 69,938 SF lot with 42,142 SF of existing vacant monastery. The complex consists of 5 total buildings. Directly adjacent to Highland Park and the Highland Park Tennis Courts and Golf Course. Optionality to convert to residential or continue use as community facility space.”
PincusCo reported in August 2023 that Watermark Capital Group signed a contract to pay the Roman Catholic Church $12.25 million for a development site in Bedford Styvesant.
The PincusCo database currently indicates that Watermark Capital Group owned at least 118 commercial properties with 1,198,341 square feet, 1,448 residential units and a city-determined market value of $226.1 million. (Market value is typically about 50% of actual value.) The portfolio has $52.8 million in debt, borrowed from Signature Bank and Bridge City Funding. Within the portfolio, the bulk, or 69 percent of the 1,198,341 square feet of built space are walkup properties, with elevator properties next occupying 26 percent of the space. The bulk, or 92 percent of the built space, is in Brooklyn, with Queens next at 8 percent of the space.
The property in Cypress Hills has 33,714 square feet of built space and 1,411 square feet of additional air rights for a total buildable of 35,279 square feet according to a PincusCo analysis of city data. The parcel has five buildings with frontage of 56 feet and is 250 feet deep with a total lot size of 70,559 square feet. The lot is irregular. The zoning is R3-1 which allows for up to 0.5 times floor area ratio (FAR) for residential. The city-designated market value for the property in 2022 is $7.3 million.
Over the past five years, there has been no NYC Department of Buildings new building, demolition, or alteration permit application valued at more than $20,000 filed for this parcel.
Violations and lawsuits
According to city public data, the property has not received any significant violations in the last year.
There were no lawsuits or bankruptcies filed against the property for the past 24 months.
In Cypress Hills, The bulk, or 24 percent of the 8.6 million square feet of commercial built space are mixed-use buildings, with specialty buildings next occupying 20 percent of the space. In sales, Cypress Hills has near average sales volume among other neighborhoods with $98.1 million in sales volume in the last two years and is the 36th highest in Brooklyn. For development, Cypress Hills has near average amount of major developments among other neighborhoods and is the 16th highest in Brooklyn. It had 994,082 square feet of commercial and multi-family construction under development in the last two years, which represents 12 percent of the neighborhood’s built space.
There are no active new building construction projects on this tax block.
The PincusCo database currently indicates that Roman Catholic Church owned at least 146 commercial properties with 886 residential units in New York City with 4,220,236 square feet and a city-determined market value of $748.7 million. (Market value is typically about 50% of actual value.) Within the portfolio, the bulk, or 43 percent of the 4,220,236 square feet of built space are specialty properties, with M1 properties next occupying 23 percent of the space. The bulk, or 54 percent of the built space, is in Brooklyn, with Queens next at 26 percent of the space.
This is the first commercial real estate event of interest identified within the 400-foot radius of 341 Highland Boulevard in the past 24 months.