Sears Tower Owner to Develop Brooklyn Ready-Mix Site ?
Are shadowy* real estate moguls Joseph and Meyer Chetrit preparing to build on the former Brooklyn Ready-Mix concrete yard on Kent Avenue in Northside Williamsburg? Based on a recent Department of Buildings permit filing, it would appear that way.
The lot - which is actually three parcels including the Mebel Z Polski warehouse at Wythe Avenue and North 4th - accounts for about three-quarters of the city block. The Austin Nichols Warehouse property at 184 Kent Avenue is directly across the street.
This DOB application dated May 7 issues the permit that allowed for the new wood fence that appeared last week, surrounding the lot that's bounded by North 3rd Street, Kent Avenue, and North 4th Street, and lists the owner as Jeff Gdansski of the "Chetrite Group" (sic) and names Meyer Chetrit as well.
The Chetrits - Meyer and his brother Joseph - have quietly become one of North America's most prolific real estate holding families, buying and selling commercial and residential properties worth billions in the past few years. Besides Chicago's iconic Sears Tower,
among their current holdings and interests here in New York are:
620 Sixth Ave (Bed Bath & Beyond, TJ Maxx, etc)
Empire Hotel - UWS 14-story, 373-room hotel
855 Sixth Avenue at 30th Street
Riverton Houses - 7 buildings, 1,250 units total
1200 Fifth Ave (at 101st Street)
According to a 2005 GE Commercial Mortgage form 8-K filing:
Meyer Chetrit has been in the real estate business for more than 15 years and is a principal of the Chetrit Group. The Chetrit Group, founded by Joseph Chetrit, is headquartered in Manhattan and has an ownership stake in over 17.7 million sq. ft. of office space with a combined value of $3.5 billion. In addition to the 19 properties the firm owns in the NY metro area, they have four properties in Los Angeles, four in Chicago, and two portfolios with a total of 38 buildings located across the United States.Actually, the Chetrits have a fascinating back story: according to the Real Deal, an NYC real estate journal, Meyer's brother Joseph got his start rather humbly as a garment district merchant - along with a number of other the the current big real estate players: the article profiles Joseph Moinian, Yair Levy and Charles Dayan along with Chetrit. These folks join a growing list of private, non-institutional property owners with an increasing influence on the New York realty market.
No word yet on what they might build on the Williamsburg lot, which under the current rezone to M1-2/R6 allows up to 209 dwelling units totaling 208,100 sq feet, plus 10,000 square feet of commercial space.
*By shadowy, we mean mysterious: just check out the Chetrit Group website and consider that it represents a multi-billion dollar company.
Update: Our unscoopable friends over at Gowanus Lounge unearthed the same DOB application this weekend and posted a similar story at nearly the same moment - including additional details about the property's recent sale - here.