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Mutifamily Sales Continue Brisk Pace In 2Q

New York City multifamily sales grew in the 2Q of 2015, building on the momentum of the strong figures seen during the 1Q15 and showing significant year-over-year gains, according to Ariel Property Advisor’s Multifamily Quarter in Review New York City: Q2 2015.

Multifamily Quarter In Review

For the 2Q15, New York City saw 225 transactions comprised of 364 buildings totaling $3.30 billion in gross consideration. This represents a 74 percent increase in dollar volume, a 33 percent increase in transaction volume and a 12 percent increase in property volume compared to 2Q14, which saw 325 properties trade across 169 transactions totaling $1.901 billion in gross consideration.

Figures remained relatively flat compared to the 1Q15, which was an exceptional kickoff to 2015. Pricing throughout the city continues to escalate by most measures, as seen in the 6-month trailing average, which shows gross rent multiples increasing by 1.4 year-over-year and the average price per square foot in Manhattan have eclipsed $900 per square foot. Compared to last year, average capitalization rates were down 60 basis points in The Bronx and were down marginally in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Northern Manhattan.

“New York City multifamily sales have had an incredible first half and we expect this momentum will carry through to the end of the year, from both a transactional and pricing perspective,” said Shimon Shkury, President of Ariel Property Advisors. “As owners and buyers anticipate rising interest rates later this year, many are eager to do deals now to lock in current rates.”

The following is a breakdown of the multifamily market in 2Q15 by submarket:

Brooklyn. Institutional caliber multifamily deals had a big 2Q in Brooklyn as the borough saw 6 transactions trade for more than $35 million-two of which surpassed $150 million each. Leading the way was Kushner Companies and LIVWRK, who purchased 184 Kent Avenue, a 374,274 square foot luxury rental building, for $275 million, or $792 per square foot. The partnership plans to convert the building to condominiums, following a trend more commonly seen in large Manhattan multifamily trades. In Crown Heights, a 200-unit elevatored building at 805 Saint Marks Avenue exchanged hands for $44 million – double what the seller paid for the property in 2013 and highlighting the neighborhood’s rapid appreciation.

Manhattan. Manhattan continues to attract investors from all over the world, as both institutional funds and small investors alike look to take advantage of the sub-market’s safe-haven. Akelius Real Estate Management, the U.S. branch of a Swedish investment firm, made a large splash this quarter with the $167.5 million dollar purchase of 362-372 Second Avenue, a 211-unit elevatored building in Gramercy. The property last traded hands in the 1940s and sold for just north of $900 per square foot. In the East Village, an 80/20 program building constructed in 1997 sold for $60 million, or $654 per square foot.

Northern Manhattan. Although transaction, building and unit volume were down year-over-year, Northern Manhattan’s dollar volume jumped 24 percent compared to the 2Q14 as pricing in the sub-market has heated up and more single-asset trades occurred. One highlight was the sale of 1501 Lexington Avenue at the border of East Harlem and Carnegie Hill, just one block north of the 96th Street subway stop. The 161 mixed-use elevatored building sold for $92 million, which translates to approximately to $690 per square foot. In Hamilton Heights, 3621-3629 Broadway, a 65,050 square foot mixed-use building sold for $25.5 million, or $392 per square foot.

Bronx. The Bronx had a very strong quarter, experiencing gains in both quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year figures. The borough saw 79 buildings trade across 52 transactions totaling $420.861 million in gross consideration, which equates to a 73 percent increase in dollar volume, a 30 percent increase in building volume and a 24 percent increase in transaction volume compared to 2Q14. The borough’s largest trade for the quarter took place at 1749 Grand Concourse, a 423,500 square foot elevatored building, which sold for $49.5 million, or $178,000 per unit. The sale marked the third time the asset has traded since 2010.

Queens. Two large multifamily transactions pushed Queens dollar volume up on a quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year basis. The borough’s largest transaction took place in southern Astoria, where a pair of elevatored buildings located at 11-15 Broadway and 30-50 21st Street sold for $72 million, which is 20% above the price paid for the same assets in 2013. In Sunnyside, 43-31 45th Street, a 79,830 square foot mixed-use elevatored building, sold for $27.5 million, or $344 per square foot. Nearly all other transactions during the quarter were under $5 million, which somewhat explains the light number of units sold.

*The multifamily transactions included in the analysis occurred at a minimum sales price of $1 million, with a minimum gross area of 5,000 square feet, and with a minimum of 10 units.

More information is available from Mr. Shkury at 212-544-9500, ext. 11, or sshkury@arielpa.com. For a copy of the report, please see http://arielpa.com/report/report-MFQIR-Q2-2015

Our Observations For the Week

This week, the de Blasio administration implemented a new policy that will require buyers and sellers of real estate to disclose any member associated with a limited liability company, or shell company, the New York Times reports. The move was made to help remove the “veil of secrecy” that has become commonplace for shell companies, most notably in the luxury sector of the market. The city’s goal is to identify individuals who claim to reside outside of New York City in order to avoid city taxes, as well prevent criminals from purchasing property unnoticed.

The Manhattan office market is currently experiencing six-year lows for vacancy rates, dipping below 9 percent for the first time since 2009, The Real Deal reports. Additionally, asking rents in the borough have surpassed $70 per square foot for the first time since 2008. Looking at individual sub-markets, Downtown and Midtown South continue to see record high asking rents, while Midtown asking rents are roughly 10% below where they were at the peak of the last cycle.

Following the High Bridge’s re-opening after 45 years, Northern Manhattan and the Bronx have a “High Line” to call their own, the New York Post reports. Originally built in 1848 as an aqueduct connecting Westchester’s water supply to Midtown Manhattan, the High Bridge park and walkway closed in 1970 due to a lack of funding. Following a $61 million makeover, the park is now open daily, connecting the communities of Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx and allowing access to more than 125 acres of green space.

Last week, the city issued a Request for Proposals to transform a former public school into a mixed-use development, Real Estate Weekly reports. The development site, located at 425 Grand Concourse in Mott Haven, was previously occupied by Public School 31. The majority of the building was demolished due to structural issues, but many of the original architectural details remain intact, and the proposals must incorporate the details into a new design. The final project will include mixed-income housing as well as ground-floor retail or community facility.

The No. 7 Subway line is set to officially open its final station in September, as the MTA is tentatively looking towards September 13th for its grand opening, NBC News reports. The line, which will extend from Times Square to Hudson Yards and the far west side at 34th Street and 11th Avenue, has had several delays since then-mayor Michael Bloomberg called the project a huge success.

NYC Finances Over 20,000 Affordable Units In Last Fiscal Year

This week we’re highlighting the number of affordable housing units financed last fiscal year, free broadband internet for many New Yorkers and a possible comeback for the W train.

On Monday, the de Blasio administration stated that the city financed 20,325 affordable apartments during the 2014 fiscal year – the highest total since 1978, Crains reports. Of the 20,325 apartments, 11,825 were existing units while 8,500 were newly constructed units. The ratio of existing to new units is in line with the goals set forth in the Housing New York Plan, which calls for preservation of 120,000 and construction of 80,000 units over the next ten years. However, the administration found that more apartments went to a slightly higher-earning, low-income bracket than expected.

On Thursday, Mayor de Blasio announced the city’s plan to begin providing free broadband internet to more than 16,000 residents throughout the city, Crains reports. The plan will target five of the city’s poorest NYCHA complexes in the South Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. It is the goal of the administration to convey that internet access should not be a luxury, but rather a utility. Twenty-two percent of households city-wide to not have access to internet and 36% below the poverty line don’t have it.

Recently, many of the restaurants and food businesses on Smith Street have closed shop and are being replaced by larger national retailers, Commercial Observer reports. Rising residential and commercial rents, which have more than doubled for many commercial tenants to $90-130 per square foot, changing neighborhood demographics, and the popularity of the nearby Court Street have led to the changes seen on Smith Street. It is also possible Williamsburg tenants could replace storefronts in the area due to comparatively lower rents on Smith than on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.

With talks of the Q line being rerouted to the new Second Avenue Subway and the Upper East Side instead of to Astoria, MTA officials have been considering bringing back the W line, AM New York reports. Ridership numbers have reached record levels, and the N train alone would not be able to provide acceptable service to the Astoria area of Queens. Infrastructure already exists for the W, and it is estimated that it would take roughly four months to get the transit system ready.

The first half of 2015 highlighted the fact that technology is playing an increasingly important role in the real estate industry, Commercial Observer reports. In the past six months alone, New York City-based tech platforms have raised $62 million dollars from investors such as Circle Ventures, Rockport Capital and Thrive Capital. Both owners and brokers alike have benefitted from new technology as companies such as Honest Buildings, a management platform, have “improved efficiency and transparency.” A recent poll of 500 real estate professionals showed that 85 percent of those working in commercial real estate were taking the time to learn how these new platforms could impact their business.

NYC Real Estate Market To Resist Greece Crisis

This week we’re highlighting Greece’s impact on NYC real estate, Wall Street firms relocating jobs to other cities and New York City’s step streets getting a makeover.

Although Greece’s exit from the Eurozone appears likely, the turmoil is not expected to have a great impact on the New York City real estate market, positively or negatively, The Real Deal reports. Greece’s GDP of $200 billion only makes up 2% of the Eurozone’s total GDP, meaning their exit is unlikely to cause waves in Europe, and likewise, New York City real estate is not expected to be affected. Experts say that there has been trouble in Greece for some time, and this event would not trigger Greek or European investors to only now diversify into New York City real estate.

Back-office and administrative Wall Street jobs have steadily been moving out of New York City for years, due mainly to generous tax breaks in other states and the prospect of paying lower salaries due to lower cost of living, Crain’s reports. Cities such as Phoenix, Dallas, Jersey City, and Salt Lake City have become popular destinations for relocating. Thus far, the de Blasio administration has not taken aggressive action to keep financial jobs in the city, but may choose to do so if JPMorgan Chase decides to moves 2,150 jobs to New Jersey in order to take advantage of a tax-incentive package.

This week, media giant Time, Inc. announced its plan to relocate 300 employees to Brooklyn’s Industry City, Commercial Observer reports. Time has signed a 15-year lease for 55,000 square feet in the 16-building, 6-milion-square-foot complex owned by Belvedere Capital, Jamestown and Angelo Gordon. Industry City rents range from $15 to $35 per square foot, and Time is scheduled to move in December.

The Department of Transportation and the Department of Design and Construction are working in tandem to revitalize New York City’s “step” streets in an effort to beautify the city and reduce unwanted behavior, the Wall Street Journal reports. From the 1890’s through World War II, the city constructed 100 streets composed entirely of steps in many of the city’s hillier neighborhoods such as Highbridge in the Bronx and Washington Heights in Manhattan. Improvements such as wayfinding signs, improved LED lighting, art, transport channels, and benches are being made in order to help reshape the infrastructure.

Aby Rosen’s firm, RFR Realty, has fallen into default on the company’s Park Avenue Lever House because it can’t refinance the 21-story office property’s nearly $100 million mortgage which expired in March, triggering a $98 million payment, Crain’s reports. The company controls the building through a ground lease it entered into with the Korein family in 1998, which allows it to own the building for over 90 years in exchange for paying $6 million a year in rent. However, the ground lease rent will spike to $20 million a year in 2023 and 80% of the building’s 270,000 square feet is set to become available by 2020, scaring off any potential lenders.

NYC Rent Guidelines Board Votes on Historic Rent Freeze

This week we’re highlighting New York City’s first rent freeze, U.S. job growth, and the NYU Greenwich Village expansion.

On Monday, the Rent Guidelines Board voted on a rent freeze for the first time in New York City history, DNA Info reports. The vote calls for a zero percent increase on one-year lease renewals for stabilized units and a two percent increase on two-year lease renewals. The Board made their decision based on data, and a recent RGB report revealed that building operating costs only rose 0.5% this year, due in large part to lower fuel costs.

The U.S. Economy added 223,000 jobs in the month of June, as the unemployment rate fell to 5.3% from 5.5% in May and the number of unemployed persons declined by 375,000 to 8.3 million. Over the past three months, monthly job gains have averaged 221,000, indicating solid growth. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities and transportation and warehousing.

New York University received the green light from the New York State Court of Appeals this week, allowing the school to expand an additional two million square feet throughout Greenwich Village, Commercial Observer reports. The expansion’s plans have been challenged by neighborhood residents and park advocates because they encroach on city parkland. NYU released a statement saying that the expansion will not only produce economic benefits and jobs, but also public spaces and playgrounds mapped as parkland.

According to a report released by Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel this week, Manhattan apartment prices hit record highs during the second quarter, The Real Deal reports. The average sales price for all apartment types was $1.87 million, a new record, while new development apartment sales eclipsed $2,000 per square foot for the first time. The strong prices seen in the second quarter can be attributed to low inventory and high demand.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced this week that Bank of America and Citigroup will provide $75 million to build or preserve 2,200 units of affordable housing throughout New York City, Bloomberg reports. The deal, which stems from settlements resolving mortgage bond practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis, counts towards “consumer relief” that the banks recently pledged.

New York State Legislators Reach Deal On 421a, Rent Regulations

This week we’re highlighting the deal that will extend the 421a tax incentive program and state rent regulations, NYCHA’s apartment renovation problems, and the record number of rent-burdened Americans.

State Legislators and Governor Andrew Cuomo finalized a deal on Thursday evening, amending the 421a tax incentive program and the state’s rent regulations, Capital reports. Each program is scheduled to be extended an additional four years. Changes made to the 421a program include extending the length of abatements from 25 to 35 years, mandating an affordable component for each program development, and allowing condo & co-op projects in the outer boroughs. However, the 421a program will end after six months rather than four years if a labor agreement regarding living wages is not reached. Changes to state rent regulations include increasing the cap to maintain a stabilized unit from $2,500 to $2,700 beginning January 1st, 2016 (with indexed increases in subsequent years) and changing the amount a landlord can increase rents when performing major capital improvements.

A recent audit conducted by the Comptroller’s office found that New York City’s Housing Authority (NYCHA) has been inefficient in renovating and repairing low-rent apartments, the New York Post reports. Roughly 80 apartments have remained empty for more than 10 years due to renovations, with one apartment vacant since 1994. As of September 2014, 2,342 out of the 178,000 apartments overseen by NYCHA were vacant. With a waiting line of over 270,000 for affordable housing, Stringer stated that the city has cost itself $7.7 million in lost rent due to vacancy inefficiencies.

This week, Thor Equities agreed on a deal with Ceruzzi Properties – a Connecticut-based investor – to sell a development site located at 520 5th Avenue for $275 million, Crain’s reports. The site, located between 43rd and 44th Streets, consists of 300,000 buildable square feet and comes with plans to build a 71-story mixed use building consisting of hotel and residential components. Thor originally purchased the site in 2011 for $150 million, almost doubling their money.

The Queens office of the Department of City Planning and Mayor deBlasio have expressed their interest in creating more affordable housing in Long Island City, Crain’s reports. As land costs continue to rise in the area, developments have increasingly shifted away from rental projects and towards condo projects. The hope is that all projects going forward – whether rental or condo – will include some form of affordable housing. De Blasio would like to see increased density and zoning, especially in areas near transportation, which would allow for an increase in affordable units.

A new study released on Wednesday by The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University revealed that a record number of Americans are spending more than 30% of their income on rent, Forbes reports. More than half of all renters were considered “rent burdened” – meaning they spend more than 30% or more on rent – in 2013. National rental vacancy fell to 7.6% in 2014, which is the lowest it has been in two decades. The low vacancy rates coupled with an average rent increase of 3.2% – which is more than double the pace of inflation – have pushed rents higher.

April Multifamily Sales See Year Over Year Gains

New York City multifamily kicked off the second quarter of 2015 with strong year over year improvement in the month of April.

New York City saw 66 transactions comprised of 112 buildings totaling $783.379 million in gross consideration. This represents a 43% increase in transaction volume, a 29% increase in dollar volume and an 8% increase in building volume compared to April 2014, which saw 46 transactions comprised of 104 buildings totaling $607.866 million in gross consideration. All submarkets covered saw year-over-year gains in transaction volume, while four out of five submarkets saw dollar volume increase year-over-year.

Multifamily Month In Review

Pricing gains throughout the city continued, as the 6-month average price per square foot and gross rent multiple are up in every sub-market when compared to last year’s six-month averages.

“Demand continues to exceed available supply, which is pushing up transaction volume and pricing,” said Shimon Shkury, President of Ariel Property Advisors. “Despite some uncertainty of future rent stabilization legislation, the vast majority of market participants continue to hold a very positive outlook for New York City multifamily assets.”

The following is a breakdown of the April 2015 volume by submarket:

Manhattan accounted for almost 32% of the city’s dollar volume in April and saw 20 buildings trade across 13 transactions totaling $247.292 million in gross consideration. Of note, the Nathaniel, a new construction mixed-use elevatored building located on 3rd Avenue and East 12th Street in the East Village, sold for $98.25 million, or $1,196 per square foot. In Chelsea, a private investor purchased 125-129 West 16th Street for $41.5 million, or $1,051 per square foot. New management has plans to add two new floors on top of the existing structure, renovate units with condo finishes, and convert two office spaces to residential use.

Brooklyn lived up to its reputation as the city’s most transactional submarket, leading the way in terms of both transaction volume and building volume with 20 transactions comprised of 34 buildings totaling $206.526 million in gross consideration. In Clinton Hill near Fulton Street, a portfolio of four walk-up buildings consisting of residential 129 units sold for $38 million, or $309 per square foot. Up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Standard Properties scooped up 45 Ainslie Street, a 20,000 square foot mixed-use building located less than two blocks from both L & G subway stations, for $7 million, which equates to $350 per square foot.

Northern Manhattan posted a strong month as the submarket experienced 19 buildings trade across 11 transactions totaling $153.47 million in gross consideration, which represents an 83% increase in dollar volume year-over-year. Treetop Development purchased a portfolio of 8 buildings throughout Inwood, Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights for $38 million from Westbrook Partners and Normandy Real Estate. The portfolio sold for $285 per square foot and a reported 3.0% cap rate. In Hamilton Heights, a mixed-use elevatored building located at 3671 Broadway exchanged hands for $27 million, or $386 per square foot.

The Bronx finished April only slightly behind Northern Manhattan in terms of dollar volume, as the borough saw 15 transactions comprised of 29 buildings totaling $152.942 million in gross consideration. The largest transaction of the month occurred a block from Yankee Stadium in Melrose, as 975 Walton Avenue sold for $30 million, or $108 per square foot. E&M Associates, who has been extremely active in the outer boroughs in recent months, sold the property to a private Brooklyn-based investor.

Queens saw dramatic year-over-year gains across all metrics, largely due to a very quiet April in 2014. In total, the borough experienced 7 trades consisting of 10 buildings totaling $23.15 million in gross consideration. Of note, a package of contiguous mixed use buildings located along a prime strip of Jackson Avenue in Court Square sold for $4.13 million, or $574 per square foot. In Corona, a corner mixed-use building exchanged hands for $4.25 million. The free-market building sold for, reportedly, a 5.75% cap rate.

For the six months ended April 2015, the average monthly transaction volume remained consistent at 68 transactions per month. The average monthly dollar volume decreased to $1.068 billion.

*The multifamily transactions included in the analysis occurred at a minimum sales price of $1 million, with a minimum gross area of 5,000 square feet, and with a minimum of 10 units.

More information is available from Mr. Shkury at 212-544-9500, ext. 11, or sshkury@arielpa.com. For a copy of the report, please see http://arielpa.com/report/report-MFMIR-Apr-2015.

Our Observations For the Week

New York legislators agreed to take a breather in negotiations, extending rent regulations an additional five days on Thursday, Bloomberg reports. Mayor de Blasio and the Democratic-controlled Assembly are aiming to end vacancy decontrol, a law that allows an apartment to convert from stabilized to free market when rent surpasses $2,500 per month. In addition to rent regulation, the 421a tax abatement program is also currently under negotiation. Governor Cuomo has stated that any new regulations are put into place will be back-dated to June 15th, the original expiration date.

The EB-5 visa program, which provides green cards to foreign investors in exchange for a $500,000 U.S. investment that will create 10 jobs or more, has started wait listing Chinese investors for the first time as it has seen an increase in applicants from other countries, The Real Deal reports. Traditionally, each country is allocated seven percent of the 10,000 EB-5 visas available each year, plus any remaining visas that other countries did not use up, the majority of which Chinese investors have gobbled up. A rise in applicants from Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico and Dubai, among others, has led to the waitlist for Chinese investors.

Foreclosures in the U.S. have reached a 19-month high, and the New York City metro area has experienced a 34 percent increase year-over-year in May, The Real Deal reports. A majority of the country’s twenty largest metro areas saw an increase in foreclosures, and Florida had the highest foreclosure rate of any state with one in every 230 homes. While the number of homeowners going into the foreclosure process is stabilizing at pre-crisis levels, the number of those who are losing their properties is still higher than before the recession. New York City currently has 1,211 properties in some stage of the foreclosure process.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, senior members of the Federal Reserve, who together form the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), discussed the state of the U.S. economy and the future of interest rate increases. Although June has been viewed as a possible point in time when the Fed would raise rates, the committee reaffirmed that the 0 to 0.25 percent range is still appropriate given a rather sluggish first quarter. Many are now looking to September as the first point of lift-off, as 15 out of 17 FOMC members expect some sort of interest rate hike by the end of the year.

In a two-year study released by the Design Trust for Public Space, it was found that almost 700 miles of public space under New York City infrastructure, which includes elevated subways, bridges and railways, is currently underutilized, Crain’s reports. Many of these areas can be converted into “valuable community assets” like public parks and retail space. Specific opportunities the report examined include Broadway Junction in Brooklyn, Division Street under the Manhattan Bridge and the Van Wyck Expressway in Kew Gardens, Queens. The Design Trust for Public Space was the first organization to bring attention to the High Line in 2001.

Governor Cuomo Proposes Short-Term 421a Tax Program Extension

This week we’re highlighting Governor Cuomo’s proposal for the 421a tax program, NYCHA’s plan to monetize city-owned property, and rental price increases in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that he would like to see a short-term extension of the current 421a tax abatement program should no resolution come to fruition by this Monday, June 15th, the date the current program is set to expire, Capital reports. Cuomo does not agree with Mayor de Blasio, who has publicly stated that he would like to end the tax program altogether if it cannot be reformed. He hopes to extend the program somewhere from three to twelve months, stating that the tax program is “a very complicated beast and it just doesn’t lend itself to throwing together a new program in several hours.”

Speaking in front of the City Council, The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) leaders outlined its plan to monetize valuable parcels of land currently owned by the city, Observer reports. With over $17 billion backlogged in repairs and operating at a steep deficit, NYCHA is attempting to revitalize its finances by selling land outright, or by land-leasing certain parcels in order to guarantee future income. In all scenarios, the city assured the Council that they will retain control of any future development and protect the interests of current residents. The plan will hopefully allow NYCHA to operate profitably by 2017.

Carlyle Group, the alternative asset management firm based out of Washington, is in the early stages of forming a real estate fund dedicated to core-plus assets in the United States – assets such as office buildings and shopping centers that may need work in order to boost value, Bloomberg reports. The fund will seek returns of around ten percent and the firm views core-plus assets as a major growth opportunity, particularly in the U.S., in the near future. Carlyle has traditionally applied an opportunistic strategy, seeking higher returns of fifteen to twenty percent.

Rental prices in both Manhattan and Brooklyn continued to rise in May, as the median rental price in Manhattan hit $3,380, a 2.4 percent increase from May of last year, The Real Deal reports. The median increase marks the 15th consecutive month that rental prices have gone up in the borough. In Brooklyn, the median rental price was $2,933, a 4.8 percent increase from last year. The increase in rents can be attributed to strong job growth coupled with a tight credit market, pushing prospective home-buyers into the rental market.

Many savvy New York City restaurateurs are opting to buy property, rather than lease space, in order to run their businesses, Commercial Observer reports. Retail and restaurant experts tout the importance of longevity in the business, as restaurants need time to market their name and build a customer base. As tenants, restaurateurs are at the mercy of their landlords, who may dramatically increase rents after a lease expires, or sell to a developer with plans to kick out tenants in order to make way for their own project. As owners, restaurateurs have two businesses, and should their restaurant fail, they have the ability to lease out the space to another tenant.

On Wednesday, Slate Property Group filed permits to construct a 126-unit rental building at 432 Rodney Street in Brooklyn, The Real Deal reports. The property, currently a one-story industrial building and former Quaker Sugar distribution center, sits just east of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and is in close proximity to the L and G subway lines. The project will rise seven stories and span 99,000 square feet in total, 14,000 of which will be set aside for commercial space. Slate is unclear whether the new project will include any affordable units, as it will depend on the outcome of the 421a tax abatement program legislation.