Jewish Press Building For Sale

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jp.gif“The Real Deal” reports that a large warehouse that has been home to the Jewish Press for nearly four decades is now on the market. The property, at 323 Third Avenue in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, was first constructed for the Brooklyn Transit Authority in 1959. The building has an asking price of $10 million and is in a swath of Gowanus next to the canal that is likely to be rezoned to allow for residential development, according to the Department of City Planning’s current proposal for the area.

“We’re targeting both users and developers,” said Ofer Cohen, managing director of Terra CRG, the firm that is marketing the Jewish Press building. “There may be some sort of hybrid, where an intermediary user may come in and use it for five years and then build.”

Cohen said the property would include approximately 145,800 buildable square feet under the proposed rezoning. The Jewish Press building and its adjacent parking lot currently comprise about 85,000 gross square feet.

A spokesperson for the Department of City Planning said the city expects to begin official public review on the 25-block rezoning of Gowanus — which signals commencement of the ULURP process — in September, which would pave the way for residential development at the Jewish Press building site.

A few years ago, developer Shaya Boymelgreen was intent on acquiring the Jewish Press building for a large mixed-use development he wanted to build next to the Gowanus Canal, dubbed “Gowanus Village.” To that end, he assembled nearly four acres of lots next to the Press building.

According to sources with knowledge of the deal, Boymelgreen never closed on the Jewish Press building but had an option agreement to buy it when he started work on Gowanus Village.

However, Boymelgreen subsequently ceded control of the other parcels he had assembled for Gowanus Village, and last year his former partners Africa Israel Investments and Isaac Katan put the properties on the market for $27 million. The move left the Jewish Press without its presumptive buyer.

The Jewish Press — which bills itself as “America’s largest independent Jewish weekly” — first began renting the building at 323 Third Avenue in 1972, according to public records. The city had acquired the property the prior year as part of the Gowanus Industrial Urban Renewal plan, according to its deed, and in 1986 it sold the warehouse to the newspaper for $20,000.

The report did not elaborate on where the newspaper was thinking of moving and the Jewish Press did not return calls for comment.


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