A Beijing-based developer will build its first U.S. residential property in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
An affiliate of Xinyuan Real Estate Co., called 421 Kent Development LLC, has closed on 443,000 square feet of vacant land at 421-431 Kent Ave., also known as 32-62 Eighth Ave., for $54.2 million. Xinyuan intends to build a 216-unit residential condominium.
The land, with a partial foundation, was foreclosed on, and Xinyuan acquired the site from an entity controlled by Beta Capital in care of N. Richard Kalikow’s Manchester Real Estate and Construction.
“We are focused on the first tier cities where Chinese like to live such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, with New York being the top destination,” said Omer Ozden, who served as an advisor to Xinyuan on the Kent Avenue acquisition. Ozden, who is a director on Xinyuan’s board, is a managing partner at Beijing Capital Investment Co. Ltd., which is the private equity arm of the Beijing municipal government.
“South Williamsburg, we believe, has the most upside,” said Ozden, a former partner at Baker & McKenzie who advises investors in China-U.S. real estate transactions. With convenient access to Manhattan, the residential sale prices in this neighborhood have seen some of the “most growth in the Unites States over the past couple of years,” he added.
Eric Landau , a partner at Paul Hastings , represented Xinyuan.
Charlotte Moses Fischman , general counsel at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel , and partner Jay Neveloff represented Beta Capital on the foreclosure. Neveloff and Tzvi Rokeach , a special counsel at Kramer Levin, represented Beta Capital on the sale to Kent Development.
Brooklyn attorney Pamela Elisofon was appointed by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Laura Jocobsen to act as referee for the deed transfer.
Records show that Kent Wythe 91st St. purchased the land in December 2007 for $42.5 million. Two years later Beta Capital LLC, in care of Manchester Real Estate and Construction, became the mortgagor. In March 2012, Manchester foreclosed on the property and took possession of it through a foreclosure auction, according to Crain’s New York.
Xinyuan reportedly plans to invest $200 million in the development of the Williamsburg property with total condo sales estimated at between $250 million and $350 million. The majority of the building will be three-bedroom condos and the units will have a price point “more affordable for Manhattan transplants,” Ozden said.
The construction of the new condominium building will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014, Ozden said.
Xinyuan declined to comment on the overall design of the building, including its height or number of floors or whether there will be a retail component, as plans are still being finalized.
Xinyuan was founded by Yong Zhang in 1997 and focuses on the development of large-scale, high-quality residential real estate projects for middle-income buyers.
Massey Knakal Realty Services originally handled the marketing of the site.
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