Castellan Snatches 125 Rivington Street for $9.8M

Posted on: September 23rd, 2016 at 5:00 am by
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Why is it that, in the year 2016, the Lower East Side continues to attract real estate speculators with terrible track records?

The latest to jump in on the fun is Castellan Real Estate Partners, a hedge-fund-backed investment group that just purchased 125 Rivington Street. According to public records, the five-story walkup (east of Essex) traded hands earlier this month for $9.8 million, roughly $3 million less than the initial asking price last December. The seller, 125 Riv LLC, previously owned the building for three decades.

The property has been on the market for nearly a year. Castellan obtained a largely vacant building, with 2,500 square-feet of retail space that has seen a series of pop-up endeavors in the last decade.

“This was an ideal opportunity for the buyer to reposition the property by renovating the vacant units and attracting an upscale retailer as well as millennials seeking to share a sought after loft apartment in the heart of the Lower East Side,” Eastern Consolidated broker Deborah Gutoff said in a press release.

So, let’s meet the new neighbors…

Castellan carries quite the reputation in Harlem where it employed the usual intimidation tactics to boot rent stabilized tenants for maximum gain. The Daily News wrote the following in March 2015:

Early last year [2014], Gov. Cuomo imposed an independent monitor on Castellan Real Estate Partners, owner of more than 50 rent-stabilized buildings in the city.

Financed by a hedge fund, Castellan has moved quickly to scoop up buildings in gentrifying neighborhoods like Washington Heights, Harlem, the South Bronx and East New York.

The firm’s chief executives, brothers Paul and John Salib, even touted in a confidential August report to investors the huge profit margins they’ve achieved by “value enhancement” — in other words, emptying apartments of previous tenants then sharply increasing rents.

At one of the buildings on E. 117th St., tenants have gone without gas for cooking or heat since before Thanksgiving. City records show the three buildings have more than 107 unresolved housing violations for mice, leaking pipes, lead paint, lack of window guards and fire exit doors that are locked.

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