Patch | August 1, 2017
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY — Two Washington Heights buildings which occupy an entire block on Fort Washington Avenue sold for $40.1 million this month, changing hands for the first time in six decades, real estate firm GFI Realty Services told Patch.
The buildings — 385 and 396 Fort Washington Ave. — contain 115 apartments and four office units, most of which are currently occupied, according to a news release. GFI Realty President Michael Weiser brokered the sale between the previous owners and a joint venture of Olshan Properties and Millhouse Properties.
“We were ultimately able to bring in a buying group that was determined to get a deal done. After handling negotiations between the two parties, we ultimately closed a very strong deal for both the buyer and the seller,” Weiser said in a statement.
Most units in 385 and 395 Fort Washington Ave. are currently renting below market rate rents, which Weiser said was appealing to the new owners.
“With most units renting well below market rates, this two-building package gives the buyers a lot of room to add value over the long term,” Weiser said in a statement. “It’s not every day that an asset that hasn’t traded for more than 60 years hits the market, and new ownership will benefit from recognizing this opportunity.”
How the new owners plan to “add value” was not stated.
The embattled Bistritzky family previously owned the buildings after buying them in the 1950s, the Real Deal reported. In recent years the property was the source of an ownership battle between Joseph Bistritzky and a man named Joseph Twersky, according to the report. Bistritzky and Twersky co-owned a company named Scandanavian Homes, which was officially listed as the owner of 385 and 395 Fort Washington Ave.
Twersky sued Bistrisky in October 2015 to seize his 50 percent stake in the company and the buildings were put on the market one year later, the Real Deal reported.
GFI Realty Services told Patch in a statement that the new buyers were drawn to Washington Heights because the neighborhood is appealing to “young professionals and families.”
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