January 4, 2022

$102M Gowanus deal could be a sign of things to come in the recently rezoned neighborhood

A prime development site in Gowanus is trading hands in the wake of the neighborhood’s rezoning, and real estate activity is unlikely to slow down there anytime soon, experts say.

Tavros Capital and Charney Cos. are purchasing 300 Nevins St. along the Gowanus Canal for $102 million from Property Markets Group. They plan to build a roughly 660-unit apartment building at the site. Property Markets Group had purchased it back in 2012 for $14 million, property records show. TerraCRG’s Ofer Cohen, Dan Marks and Daniel Lebor brokered the deal for both sides.

At least 25% of the project’s residential units will be affordable, and it will consist of two towers, one standing 22 stories tall and the other 17. The companies plan to start demolition work imminently and get going on construction in earnest around April, according to Tavros Partner Colin Rankowitz.

The years-long effort to rezone Gowanus passed the City Council at the end of 2021, and officials expect it to bring about 8,000 new housing units to the neighborhood, more than 3,000 of which will be affordable. Projects had already been streaming into the neighborhood leading up to the rezoning, including plans from Tavros and Charney for a 224,000-square-foot, 261-unit project at 251 Douglass St. and a 202,000-square-foot, 214-unit project at 577 Union St.

“Like a lot of owners on the canal, we’re very excited to contribute to the amenity that the canal has the potential to become,” Rankowitz said. “We certainly envision it being High Line-esque.”

Rankowitz anticipates that most of the development moving forward will come from current property owners in Gowanus, so although he expects to see companies file plenty of additional plans for new projects, he does not anticipate a ton of additional sites in the neighborhood trading hands.

“If you own it today, you’re probably developing it,” he said.

But the Gowanus market in general is expected to stay extremely active going forward, especially as companies look to get plans underway while the state’s 421-a program is still in place. The program provides a tax break for developers in exchange for making 30% of units in their new buildings affordable. It is set to expire in June.

“A lot of it is going to get off the ground in the next 12 months to beat the 421-a deadline,” said Cohen. “The best way to look at it is looking at Downtown Brooklyn, looking at North Williamsburg in terms of all the building that‘s going to happen in the three- to five-year period after a rezoning. It’s going to be fun.”

Read the full piece here.