BCRE Acquires 627 Greenwich St. in Manhattan for $106M

Brack Capital Real Estate has closed on its $106 million purchase of a vacant, 12-story commercial building at 627 Greenwich St. in Manhattan’s West Village.
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Brack Capital Real Estate, a global real estate investment and development company based in the Netherlands, has closed on its $106 million purchase of a vacant, 12-story commercial building at 627 Greenwich St. in Manhattan’s West Village.

The 106,400-square-foot building is located between Leroy and Morton streets in the trendy Lower Manhattan neighborhood.

“It is extremely rare to find a vacant building of this size in the West Village,” Issac Hera, CEO of Brack Capital Real Estate USA, said in a release. “We are extraordinarily particular about the properties we invest in, considering not only their location, but also their development potential. Fundamentally, this building has great attributes, which lends itself to limitless opportunities.”

BCRE bought the property from Criterion Real Estate, which had acquired the building in a foreclosure from the Royal Bank of Scotland, according to Crain’s New York Business. Crain’s reported Criterion quickly flipped the property, netting about $30 million in profit.

Plans for the building date back to 2008 when a developer had won approvals to rezone the site for housing and was going to put a combination of rental apartments, townhouses and lofts there. The mixed-use project was also going to feature a small public park and commercial space, according to Crain’s.

While plans for the property have not been finalized, Hera told Commercial Property Executive, the company does not plan to demolish the building.

“Having a vacant building gives BCRE the ultimate freedom to introduce any program and bring perfection to any design,” Hera said.

Hera noted that the majority of the West Village is located within an historic district but 627 Greenwich St. is just outside the historic district.

“BCRE’s intention is to use this flexibility to introduce a superior product that will embrace and capitalize on the unique character and charm of the West Village,” he said.

The property, which is grandfathered in at a height of 150 feet, has “fantastic 360 degree views that will remain unobstructed. It is extremely unique to find a building in this area that can feature such views,” Hera added.

Whether BCRE chooses rental or condos or a combination, the residential market in Lower Manhattan is hot, according to The Alliance of Downtown New York Lower Manhattan Real Estate Market Overview for Q3 2014.

“The market for rental apartments in Lower Manhattan remains strong. Median rents are up 6.9 percent year over year at $3,630, well outpacing the Manhattan-wide median rent growth of 3.8 percent over the same period,” according to the report. “Rent increases reflect a very tight market, which has just 1.25 percent vacancy.”

The report noted that residential sales were also outpacing last year, with a year-to-year sales price increase of 9 percent for an average $1,213 per square foot.

If BCRE builds a luxury development, it will command prices higher than the median averages noted in the report.

BCRE has offices around the world and is active in large-scale international real estate investment, development and M&A activities and has taken the lead in more than 40 million square feet of office, retail and residential projects, including many in Manhattan. Last year, BCRE sold The James Hotel, a luxury hotel in Manhattan’s SOHO neighborhood, for approximately $85 million.