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Archive for the tag 'commercial real estate'

Source: Youtube/cunytv75

Source: Youtube/cunytv75

Glenn Markman, a commercial broker with clients like Spike Lee and the NBA, died at the age of 52 yesterday after a battle with cancer.

During his 28 years in brokerage, the Bensonhurst native succeeded in transforming his home borough. After joining the prestigious Cushman & Wakefield firm 12 years ago, Markman’s passion for basketball helped him score exclusive deals with the NBA and, eventually, the Brooklyn Nets. Most recently, he is credited for his role in the creation of a $45 million training center for the Nets in Sunset Park’s Industry City.

According to this lovely tribute to Markman in Real Estate Weekly, the philanthropist and businessman never forgot his Brooklyn roots–specifically, playing basketball at the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst and at Kutscher’s Sports Academy:

Glenn often remarked that “being a successful broker is no different than playing point guard. You need to make your team better, keep your eye on the competition and make sure you see the entire floor – controlling the entire game. No different than completing a real estate transaction.”

He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Jan Testori-Markman, and their son Clio and daughter Edie Ray, as well as his parents Marty and Karen Markman. He is also survived by his brother Greg Markman and sister-in-law Margaret and their children, Nick, Andrew, and Joey; his mother- and father-in-law Christine and Edward Testori; and his brother- and sister-in-law Jay and Susan Testori and their children Gina, Julia, Scott, and Amber.


When it comes to commercial real estate, Southwest Brooklyn is booming, and is about to get even bigger.

According to a report set to be released this week by Massey Knakal Realty Services, building sales in Southwest Brooklyn are expected to rise by 57 percent in the next year.

The Commercial Observer reports:

While neighborhoods like Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and eight other areas within southwest Brooklyn don’t receive the same hype as other areas such as Williamsburg or Downtown Brooklyn, the southwestern portion of the borough have accounted for 25 percent of the total buildings sold and 18 percent of the total sales figures for the borough, figures from the report say.

One reason for this growth, Massey Knakal’s vice president for research Adrian Mercado told the Commercial Observer, is the growing Asian-American populations in Sunset Park and Bensonhurst, that has attracted Asian investments.

Earlier this month we wrote about the massive hotel and mall planned on 6208 Eighth Avenue, on the border of Sunset Park and Dyker Heights, and a Cropsey Avenue nursing home which will be turned into a 24-story condo tower–both by Chinese developers.

Here’s a graph illustrating the dramatic rise in building sales:


Annual southwest Brooklyn sales transactions. (Massey Knakal)

But is the impending real estate boom good for Bensonhurst? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


The long-blighted structure at 2300 Cropsey Avenue, formerly a nursing home, will be demolished and replaced with a 24-story residential and office tower.

Located at 23rd Avenue, the 45,688-square-foot property was purchased by a group of Chinese investors late last year for $18.5 million. It’s long sat derelict and overgrown, and became a haven for illegal dumping and graffiti.

Currently the skeleton of a six-story building, it was once the facilities for Haym Salomon Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation, which moved next door several years ago.

Documents filed with the Department of Buildings last week reveal plans for a 273-foot, 24-story building designed by Michael Kang.

YIMBY reports:

The nearly 350,000-square foot building at 2300 Cropsey will contain 170 apartments – we’re guessing condos – divided over 200,000 square of net residential space, for a roomy but modest unit size of almost 1,200 square feet. There will be 60,000 square feet of community facility space, likely marketed towards doctors, with 337 garage parking spaces and a surface lot that will hold 32 stalls.

It’s not clear when work will begin, but it should have better luck than previous plans on the property. Developer Alexander Gurevich proposed to build a similar blend of housing, office space and parking, but ended up defaulting on his $17 million loan, and the property went to the bank. Gurevich was banned from selling condos or co-op units in 2010.

That same year, 2300 Cropsey Avenue also earned the dubious distinction of holding the most violations from the Department of Buildings in Brooklyn.

Just a BJ’s stock photo… (Source: Nicholas Eckhart/Flickr)

Just a BJ’s stock photo… (Source: Nicholas Eckhart/Flickr)

The new BJ’s Wholesale Club in Bensonhurst will open its doors to shoppers for the first time this Saturday, September 13, Bensonhurst Bean has learned.

The big box retailer’s latest location at 1752 Shore Parkway, near Ceasar’s Bay, will be open for business beginning at 9am, but the grand opening celebrations are not slated until a week later, on Saturday, September 20. A representative for the company said they’ll be partying that day with “lots of food” in the form of sample carts, as well as other festivities and a ribbon cutting with local elected officials.

BJ’s was originally slated to open July 12. Construction delays, however, pushed it back to the September date.

The retailer will occupy the ground floor of a 200,000-square-foot space at 1752 Shore Parkway known as the Bay Center. The center will be two stories tall with commercial units above the BJs. The project is being developed by Thor Equities.

Construction kicked off in December 2012.

BJ’s will be open 9am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 8pm on Sundays.


It looks like a Dunkin’ Donuts is set to come soon to 2021 Cropsey Avenue, at the corner of Bay 25th Street.

We spotted the banner up last week, although it doesn’t look like any plans have yet been filed with the Department of Buildings. And if it’s a new owner for the 4,450-square-foot lot, the sale hasn’t hit the city’s online database.

Dunkin’ Donuts will replace Auto Center America, a short-lived mechanic’s shop that replaced Double Diamond Limousines.

Whether people are a fan of Dunkin’ coffee or not, neighbors will likely appreciate the lot being put back to use and better maintained than its current state.


The Vitamin Shoppe opened its doors at 2005 86th Street about three weeks ago, looking to capitalize off the new rush of fitness fans patronizing Planet Fitness next door.

The business replaces London Fashion Shoes, which closed for good earlier this year.

It’s hard not to note the unique facade of the building. It has served as a retail location for many years, but some research reveals what many neighborhood oldtimers probably know: it’s the former site of the Benson Twins Theater. Here’s how it looked in the 1980s, as captured by the Department of Finance tax photos:


Although the theater once took up the entire site of what today is The Vitamin Shoppe and Planet Fitness, by the 1980s, as you can see, it was already split up for a retail location.

But just how old is it? Fortunately, CinemaTreasures has that info on hand:

Opened as the Benson Theatre on September 15, 1921, it was a 1,400 seat theatre, located in the shadows of the elevated subway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Designed by architects George Keister & Libman. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 manual, 6 ranks organ. It was run as a dollar theatre by the Golden Theatre chain before it was twinned by splitting it down the middle and renamed Benson Twins with seating for 588 and 400.

Subsequently, it became a first run house. In the final days, it was closed more than it was open, and was closed in 1988 for its current retail use.

According to city records, it came under the ownership of a new company called Benson Theatre Corp in 1972, which is about when it was renamed.

Unfortunately, with the overhaul of the facade by Planet Fitness, little remains of the original theater’s architecture. But eagle-eyed passersby will catch a glimps of the original “B” insignia, and the comedy and tragedy masks above The Vitamin Shoppe. Here’s a photo, but Forgotten NY has an even better one:


Source: Alexander Rabb/Flickr

The owner of the landmarked Shore Theater has been declining all proposals to rehabilitate and reactivate the building, including one by a Manhattan restaurateur to turn it into a sprawling restaurant and culinary school.

The 1301 Surf Avenue building was inherited by Jasmine Bullard following the 2013 death of her father, Horace, a Coney Island visionary who long fought to revitalize the neighborhood during its darkest days. Although the building was on the market at the time of his death, Bullard has declined to hear out would-be buyers, Brooklyn Eagle reports.

“I have clients who are ready, willing and able to write a check for the Shore today,” broker Joe Vitacco told Eye on Real Estate.

He has tried to submit purchase offers to her, but in vain: “She won’t even look at them.”

Vitacco said he has four “solid” suitors for the Shore Theater:

* A “very well known restaurateur” from Manhattan who wants to build a cooking school downstairs and a restaurant on the top two floors.

“The view from the seventh floor is magnificent,” he said, and there’s a Juliet balcony where diners would be able to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones playing baseball at MCU Park.

* A “nationally known athlete” who would turn the Shore back into a movie theater — and no, it’s not Magic Johnson (who isn’t actively involved in Magic Johnson Theatres’ operations these days, anyway).

* A billionaire with a home in Brooklyn who “thinks it’s a beautiful building and should be restored,” Vitacco said.

This interested party made an offer when Horace Bullard was alive, but it wasn’t high enough. Now, “he’s willing to come to the table with more money,” the broker said.

* A real estate developer who is involved in Coney Island.

Vitacco marketed Horace Bullard’s properties for about a decade. When the Shore was Vitacco’s listing, the asking price was $12 million.

It is estimated that it will take approximately $35 million to renovate the 115,000-square-foot, seven-story structure.

Just a BJ’s stock photo… (Source: Nicholas Eckhart/Flickr)

The opening date for the BJ’s Wholesale Club at 1752 Shore Parkway has been pushed back due to construction delays, Bensonhurst Bean has learned.

(UPDATE: When will Bensonhurst’s BJ’s open? September 13!)

The Bensonhurst location, near Ceasar’s Bay, was slated to open July 12. But a representative for the company informed Bensonhurst Bean yesterday that they’re still putting the finishing touches on the location, and will be opening doors on an unspecified date in September.

The big box store will occupy the ground floor of a 200,000-square-foot space at 1752 Shore Parkway that will be known as the Bay Center. The center will be two stories tall with commercial units above the BJs. The project is being developed by Thor Equities and is expected to be completed sometime in 2014.

Construction kicked off in December 2012.

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

A three-story building at 6923 18th Avenue, on the corner of 70th Street, has been scooped up by Cheng Shi, a developer who plans to expand the property’s retail offerings, as well as build new medical offices.

The deal closed last month for $1.98 million, negotiated by Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates broker Jeffrey Unger. (Note: city records indicate a sale price of $990,000. We contacted the broker, who provided the $1.98 million figure, for confirmation and will update when we hear back.)

Shi plans to renovate the building, with two ground-floor retail spaces and medical and dental offices on the second and third floors.

The building currently sports just shy of 4,800 square feet of space, split equally for retail, office and residential uses, according to PropertyShark. It was built in 1931, and sits a 20-foot-by-80-foot lot. No plans for construction have yet been filed with the Department of Building, according to the agency’s website.

UPDATE (12:13 p.m.): We confirmed the price, and a strikeout has been added above.

Rendering of the proposed Eighth Avenue Center by Raymond Chan. Source: World Journal via Voices of NY

Rendering of the proposed Eighth Avenue Center by Raymond Chan. Source: World Journal via Voices of NY

A group of Chinese developers are looking to erect a mall, office building, hotel and residential complex on the border of Sunset Park and Dyker Heights, where they recently plunked down $51.5 million for the land.

The project, tentatively named Eighth Avenue Center, is slated for 6208 8th Avenue. The 160,700-square-foot site is currently a parking lot abutting the N line. When construction wraps up, the owners expect to see five buildings packing in a total of 1.1 million square feet of space.

World Journal, translated by Voices of New York, reports:

Raymond Chan, a co-developer whose architecture firm will design the project, said that because of zoning restrictions, this piece of land is the only lot in the Eighth Avenue neighborhood in Brooklyn that can be used for large-scale development. The project will not only alter the skyline of the neighborhood but also bring great changes in the dynamic of the Chinese community in Brooklyn.

“Today’s Eighth Avenue is like Flushing 15 years ago,” said Chan. He said that as a rapidly establishing Chinese neighborhood, the Eighth Avenue area has huge potential for development. So he and several other Chinese developers pooled together $50 million to purchase the land from Jewish developer Andy Cohen. They plan to build one mixed-use building of three floors of underground parking space, three floors of shopping area, and an activity center for community organizations, one 17-floor office building, one seven-floor and 150-room hotel, and two 15-floor residential condos.

Chan said for the only lot that is zoned C4-3 for large-scale development in the neighborhood, the price of $50 million was reasonable. He said the deal closed May 21. The plan is subject to change pending community board approval.

The lot appears to straddle the jurisdictions of Community Board 7 and Community Board 10, so they may need joint approval.

The owners told the publication that they hope to begin construction in the spring.

An aerial view of 6208 8th Avenue. (Source: Google Maps)

An aerial view of 6208 8th Avenue. (Source: Google Maps)

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