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54-58 Canal Street also known as the Jarmulowsky Bank Building, is a 12 story, elevatored loft building. This spectacular corner building contains approximately 65,000 SF of space including the full basement/vault space.

It is perfectly located between TriBeCa, Chinatown and the Lower East Side, a short walk to many of New York City's finest restaurants, hotels and schools. This offering is a unique opportunity for conversion to a hotel, condominiums with stores, or to be kept as its most recent use, commercial lofts with ground floor stores. From the upper floors, the panoramic views of New York City are unparalleled. The building lies in a C6-2G commercial zone and would require a special permit for conversion to residential use.

It was erected in 1895 and was the tallest structure on the Lower East Side at the time. 54-58 Canal Street is historically relevant but not landmarked. The building is now completely vacant.

Click here for listing details.

Neighborhoods: Lower East Side/ Agents: Michael DeCheser

Located underneath the Historic High Line in Chelsea, this property is situated in one of the most sought after locations in all of New York City. The site currently has proposed plans for a multi-floor retail space designed by studioMDA, renderings by Michael Klausmeier Inc.

There is an easement for future access to the High Line which is approximately 5' x 35', could contain non-permanent structures, such as a sculpture garden. This is a tremendous opportunity for an investor/developer to purchase a prime development site in an area that has seen enormous growth over the last several years.

Click here for listing details.

Neighborhoods: Chelsea/ Agents: Brock Emmetsberger

Owning a brokerage business puts me in a position of wanting to encourage and inspire my troops, particularly in times like these when adversity is around every corner. We are all bombarded with negative news from every direction these days. Even speeches at industry events can leave you more depressed and wondering when the heck things might start getting better. So today, I thought I would share with you my closing remarks from a speech I gave last night at the Community Bankers Mortgage Forum in Westbury, Long Island.

Click here for full article.

Agents: Robert Knakal

A rare in-place 8.0%+ cap rate Manhattan investment opportunity.

It is a ground floor and lower level retail space comprised of three units totaling approximately 4,622 SF. It is located within the landmark Bouwerie Lane Theater building on the northwest corner of Bond Street and Bowery.

The retail is fully leased and features high end fashion designers Rogan and Billy Reid, along with Adam Gordon Holdings, a developer of high end residential properties in NYC. This is a tremendous opportunity for an investor to purchase a prime corner location, with in-place cash flow and leases extending out until 2014 and 2017.

Click here for listing details.

Neighborhoods: NoHo

The newly elected state assembly approved a Ten – Bill legislative package that is now before the NY State Senate.  This is the first step the newly elected Democratic majority has taken towards reforming the affordable housing system which they have been campaigning on.  If approved by the State Senate in June in it’s entirety it would have a monumental impact on the way affordable housing in New York is operated. 

Below, our Washington Heights and Inwood Director of Sales Robert Shapiro provides is a brief description of each of the State Assembly approved bills along with a brief description:


Bill A00465 Prohibits an owner from adjusting the amount of the preferential rent, rent charged, and paid by the tenant which is less than the legal regulated rent for the housing accommodation, upon the renewal of a lease; only allows the owner to make such adjustments upon a vacancy which is not the result of the failure of the owner to maintain a habitable residence.


What it means:

If landlords have tenants they are giving preferential rents to, they will not be allowed to raise their rent to market rent upon renewal of the lease.   Only when the tenant vacates the unit will landlord be able to raise it to the registered rent.  This is true, even if landlord has the preferential lease riders that state otherwise. 



This has more impact in Manhattan south of 96th Street where free market rents tend to be much stronger than uptown and the boroughs


Bill A02002 - Amends the administrative code of the city of New York and the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen hundred seventy four, in relation to civil penalties imposed for violation of administrative orders or for harassment of tenants to obtain vacancy of a unit.


What it means

Increases the financial penalties for landlords who harass their tenants to get a vacancy.



None if you don’t harass your tenants.


Bill A01928 - Establishes a methodology for determining major capital improvements (MCI) rent surcharges based on a seven year schedule; provides that such MCI’s shall be calculated as a rent surcharge and shall not become part of the base legal regulated rent by which increases are calculated, and requires the amount thereof to be separately designated and billed as such; codifies current practices regarding the annual 6% cap on MCI increases and the methodology for determining MCI surcharges on the number of rooms; requires that rent surcharges authorized for major capital improvements shall cease when the improvement has been recovered.


What it means:

Your MCI improvements will no longer be permanently affixed to the legal registered rent.  Instead they will be a separate charge which will be abolished upon the repayment of the improvement. Payments will be over a 7 year period.



Removes motivation for landlords to make improvements to their buildings.  Ultimately it will lead New York City’s already old housing stock to not be updated.


Bill A00857 - Provides that in cities with a population of one million or more, the rent following the dissolution date of Mitchell-Lama developments shall be the last rent authorized for the affected dwelling


What it means:

When the property becomes subject to rent regulation, this bill would prohibit an owner from applying for a rent increase base on “unique and peculiar circumstances”.



Eliminates what the city believes is a loop hole and it would  become more difficult to increase the rent on a unit that is coming out of the Mitchell-Lama program.  This will result in less motivation for owners and developers to own, operate or develop this asset class.


Bill A01688 - Removes provisions that prohibit cities of one million or more from strengthening rent regulation laws to provide more comprehensive coverage than state laws.


What it means:

Revokes the Urstadt Law which would allow local organizations, instead of the state , to be in control of rent regulation.



Control of all rent regulation and affordable housing would be controlled on the local level.  The laws would most likely become much more favorable for the tenants. 


Bill A01685 - Relates to recovery of certain housing accommodations by a landlord; limits a landlord’s ability to take possession of units for their own primary residence, permit recovery of only one unit, and restrict such ability if the tenant has occupied the apartment for twenty or more years.


What it means:

Landlords will not be able to vacate an entire rent regulated building for their own dwelling. Instead they will only be allowed one unit of a tenant who has lived there less than 20 years



City retains more rent regulated units in the case an owner wants to move back into his / her building.


Bill A01687 -Permits the declaration of an emergency pursuant to the EMPTA for rental housing accommodations located in buildings covered by a project based assistance contract pursuant to section 8 of the United States housing act of 1937.


What it means:

Any units that opt out of the section 8 program will become subject to rent regulation.



Tenants of section 8 housing will receive rent and eviction protection from rent regulation.


Bill A00860 - Establishes deregulation income thresholds and deregulation rent thresholds for certain housing purposes.  Amends New York State’s rent regulation laws to adjust the “luxury decontrol” thresholds to account for inflation


What it means:

Increases the luxury decontrol from $2000 to $2,700 and the income threshold from $175,000 per year to $240,000.  Not only are these thresholds to be increased but they are also going to be tied to an index so that they reflect inflation.



Landlords will have to wait longer and spend more to increase the registered rents to get them above the “luxury decontrol” level.  This will have more impact in prime neighborhoods where high free market rents are more achievable.   These will also be permanently tied to an inflationary index that will help keep apartments under rent regulation longer. 


Bill A01686 - Limits the amount of rent increase after the vacancy of a housing accommodation


What it means:
Reduces the vacancy bonus from 20% to 10% and only allows one vacancy bonus per calendar year. 



It will become harder and  result in a potentially longer period in which landlords can reach the “luxury decontrol” level.  More impact will be felt in neighborhoods in which the market produces stronger residential rents (i.e. Manhattan south of 96th Street)


Bill A2005 - Makes conforming technical changes to the New York City administrative code and the emergency tenant protection act relating to vacancy decontrol.


What it means:
Repeals vacancy decontrol on any unit that was rented on or after January 1, 2007 for less than $5,000 ($3,500 in Westchester, Nassau, & Rockland).



Any unit in NYC that was decontrolled or was not under regulation that rented for less than $5,000 as of January 1, 2007 would become regulated. 

Agents: Robert Shapiro

A new exclusive: a 47 unit residential elevatored building in Harlem.  The building is located on the south side of West 143rd Street between Riverside Drive and Broadway.

Click here for listing details.

Neighborhoods: Harlem

The subject property is a 5-story apartment building located on the south side of East 80th Street between York and First Avenues. It contains one (1) storage unit and twenty (20) studio apartments. Out of the twenty (20) units, eighteen (18) are rent stabilized and two (2) are free market. In total, twelve (12) of the studios are currently vacant.

Click here for listing details.

Neighborhoods: Upper East Side/ Agents: Robert Knakal, Thomas Gammino Jr.

The subject property is a two story, frame mixed-use building with on-site parking and approx. 100 ft. of frontage on Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood, NY. There is approx. 4,400 Sq. Ft. of retail space on the ground floor, a legal apartment on the second floor, and approx. 3,642 Sq. Ft. of open air parking accessible from curb cuts on Metropolitan Avenue and 60th Place .

The property is located in an R6B zoning district with a C2-4 commercial overlay, allowing for a commercial or residential development of approx. 16,084 Sq. Ft. The entire property may be delivered vacant approx. two months after closing.

Click here for listing details.

Neighborhoods: Ridgewood/ Agents: Thomas Donovan

An eight-family walk-up apartment building at 717 Carroll Street in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood was sold in an all cash transaction valued at $1,400,000. 

Neighborhoods: Park Slope

The alphabet soup of government intervention is enough to make your head spin. The magnitudes of the programs are enormous. What I will do today is look at each of these initiatives and try to determine how they might collectively affect our New York City investment property sales market. We will examine three areas which have a significant impact on our real estate market: 1) Employment, 2) Credit Availability, and 3) Interest Rates. First, let’s review these programs:


The Troubled Asset Relief Fund (TARP) (aka Bailout #1) was originally a $700 billion program handed to Congress by the Federal Reserve in September of 2008 with the intention of unfreezing the credit markets. This was to be done in the form of removing toxic mortgage-backed securities from the balance sheets of banks. Within one month, the plan for buying these toxic assets was abandoned because determining the value and, hence, the fair price of these securities was nearly impossible due to the continual decline in housing prices. If the collateral for the securities keeps falling and the expectation is that the reduction in value will continue, it is not possible to value the assets. The result was that the Fed deployed about half of the TARP funds in the form of cash injections into banks hoping that this injection would stimulate lending. Because there were almost no strings attached or guidelines with respect to the use of these funds, most of the TARP money was hoarded by the banks or, in a few cases, the funds were used to purchase other banks. The result was that credit availability was not enhanced.


Enter the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) (aka Bailout #2). This program will not be financed with taxpayer dollars (directly) but rather by the printing of more money. This consumer bailout was anticipated to have a positive effect on credit availability as it would stimulate the secondary markets. The asset backed securities supported by this program initially were to include auto loans, credit card debt and student loans. The program was to allocate $200 billion by the Fed to security holders of consumer backed debt. Essentially, doing this would have insured the debt if a borrower defaulted. Additionally, backing the backers, the Treasury department was to provide $20 billion from the TARP funds to safeguard losses that the Fed might incur.


As the scale of the crisis became more apparent, the Stimulus Plan that had been discussed for months included a provision to increase the scope of the TALF in conjunction with the deployment of the balance of the TARP money. This initiative, which was laid out by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is dubbed the Financial Stabilization Plan (FSP) (aka Bailout #3)  This program’s primary objective also revolves around unfreezing credit. In order to unfreeze credit banks need to be supported and this plan addresses two of the three main issues facing banks; “troubled” assets and undercapitalization. Importantly, the plan also addresses securitized lending and mortgage modifications. The plan expands the TALF from $200 billion to $1 trillion in capacity and would allow AAA CMBS as collateral, in addition to AAA consumer related ABS.  The CMBS program will likely differ from the consumer focused facility but should follow the same general guidelines. Since refinanced CMBS appear to be eligible under this program, it could address a large portion of existing issuance as it is refinanced. There is also an initiative to form a Public Private Investment Fund on a scale of about $500 billion to purchase mortgage backed securities from banks. Securitization volumes have evaporated in recent months; therefore, a revived securitization market would be an important supplement to bank credit. Additionally, the FDIC has suggested that it may extend its bank debt guarantee program to 10 years and allow guarantees of secured debt, which could also address this issue. It is estimated that between $170 billion and $400 billion of commercial mortgages will mature in 2009 which will need to be refinanced.


The unprecedented $787 billion Stimulus Plan was signed by the President yesterday. While anything that will help our economy would appear to be worthwhile, we must consider the long term costs associated with this stimulus. Unfortunately, what started as an economic initiative became a political spending program with allocations for many things that make you scratch your head about the resultant long term stimulus. 38% of the funds are in the form of tax cuts, the majority of which is in the form of $400 credits for most taxpayers and exemptions from the alternative minimum tax. 24% is in the form of spending including infrastructure construction and modernization and 38% is in the form of aid. That is an enormous stimulus plan. But is this really “stimulus” at all? Yes, there is a lot of spending but the Wall Street Journal estimates that only 12% of the funds will be spent on initiatives which could be considered growth stimulus. These are dollars spent which will produce a multiplier effect and the projection of only 12%, is disheartening to say the least.


So let’s look at how all of this intervention will affect employment. In January, US companies slashed nearly 600,000 jobs. We currently have an unemployment rate of 7.6% and it is projected, by most economists, to approach 9% at its peak. If we hit this threshold, another 3.6 million jobs will be lost. Initially, the projection for job growth from the stimulus plan was 4 million jobs. This estimate has been revised down to 3.5 million by the government while many economists believe the number will be significantly lower. Regardless of your assumptions, the unemployment rate will continue to rise; the only question is by how much. This will have a negative impact on real estate fundamentals and will have a negative effect on value.


The credit markets have started to loosen, albeit at a slow rate. The securitization enhancement aspects of the TALF and FSP should provide relief to the commercial mortgage market. The sheer volume of necessary refinancing is not possible without access to public capital and the new programs should make this possible.  The TARP, TALF and FSP have had effects on the credit markets, in general. The US Treasury securities market has rallied based upon disappointments with the results of bank bailouts as funds sought comfort in low risk government securities. Two-year swap spreads, a major gauge of credit risks, have widened. Negative sentiment due to the lack of detail on the FSP has boosted interest in recent Treasury auctions. The bid-to-cover ratio, a major gauge of demand, has been as high as 2.67, well above the 2.4 average over the last 10 auctions. Notwithstanding these facts, the programs should have a positive effect on commercial mortgage availability which will have a positive impact on property values.


Interest rates are a major concern. With all of these government programs the need to raise cash is enormous. This means that the government will be flooding the market with Treasuries, greatly increasing the supply. When the supply goes up, the price goes down and as the price goes down, the yields go up. This is not a good thing for real estate, particularly because existing floating rate debt is often tied to treasuries and the cost of new borrowing will increase. China and Japan have been significant buyers of our debt and we should not expect Treasuries to appeal to foreigners as near record low yields are limiting future capital gains from price appreciation. The low or negative carry of treasuries over sovereign debt elsewhere plus the long term downward trend of the dollar erodes the relative appeal and total return of treasuries to foreign holders. Notwithstanding this fact, treasury yields have been growing since November of 2008 based upon the fear of excess supply. The yield curve is steepening and there are concerns that congress has already raised the ceiling on the national debt to $12 trillion. This could bring our government debt to GDP ratio to about 85% in late 2009 / early 2010. The oversupply of treasuries is concerning given the downside risks to growth, further bank losses, yet another stimulus package and additional funds for bank recapitalization. We expect upward pressure on interest rates due to these factors which will have a negative effect on real estate values.


While all of this information can be disquieting, we should keep in mind the following fact: History has shown us that coming out of a deflationary period with low interest rates; we are likely to see above trend inflation and increased interest rates. In that type of environment, investors want to own hard assets and real estate is a great hard asset to own.

Agents: Robert Knakal

I was reading a weekly publication today and I saw the results of a poll asking if respondents considered our present economy a “depression”. Surprisingly, nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers feel that we are either definitely in a depression or may be in a depression very soon. And it is no wonder that people feel this way as many of the politicians we have listened to lately (from the very top on down) have been using language which is nothing short of fearmongering.

Click here for full article.

Agents: Robert Knakal

The subject property is a 4-story mixed-use apartment building located on the east side of Second Avenue between East 81st and East 82nd Street.

As a result of the vacant commercial space, this property is ideal for an owner user.

Click here for listing details.

Neighborhoods: Upper East Side/ Agents: Robert Knakal, Thomas Gammino Jr.

A four-story mixed-use building located at 7625 Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood was sold in an all cash transaction valued at $1,450,000.

Neighborhoods: Bay Ridge/ Agents: Jeffrey Shalom, Stephen Palmese

A 25' wide, 5-story, 5 unit, approximately 6,680 gross SF walk-up apartment building. The building is comprised of 2 Rent Stabilized tenants, 1 Rent Controlled tenant and a vacant parlor and 3rd floor.

Built in 1828 for Cornelius Oakley, this house was selected in the 1930s by the Federal Arts project of the Index of American Design as the most outstanding example of late Federal style in New York City.
This five story townhouse has one of the finest Federal doorways in the Village and is located on one of the premier blocks in the West Village. This property represents tremendous upside potential and given that the parlor and 3rd floors will be delivered vacant poses a great user opportunity.

Neighborhoods: Greenwich Village/ Agents: John Ciraulo

Perfect for a single-family conversion, this three-story walkup features a finished basement and an unfinished cellar. It sits on a charming, tree-lined block of York Avenue between East 85th and East 86th streets, just steps from Carl Schurz Park. The owner will deliver it completely vacant. There are also approximately 9,435 SF of air rights available.

Click here for listing details.

Neighborhoods: Upper East Side/ Agents: Thomas Gammino Jr.

A mixed-use building, located at 109 Montague Street, in the landmark district of Brooklyn Heights, was sold in an all cash transaction valued at $3,700,000.

Neighborhoods: Brooklyn Heights/ Agents: Paul Smadbeck, Stephen Palmese

Massey Knakal Realty Services recently honored some of the finest in the firm. The award ceremony was held at the Manhattan office on January 21, 2009 and was attended by the entire company.

2008 Trophy winners:

  • 18th Annual Gerald W. Bridges Salesperson of the Year award: Partner James Nelson (Manhattan)
  • 9th Annual John H. Holler Salesperson of the Year Award: Senior Director of Sales Robert Burton (Manhattan)
  • 5th Annual Harry Macklowe Salesperson of the Year Award: Managing Director - Queens, Partner Tom Donovan (Queens)
  • 6th Annual Stephen B. Siegel Salesperson of the Year Award: Senior Director of Sales Kenneth Freeman (Brooklyn)
  • 1st Annual Steven Spinola Award: Associate Hall Oster (Manhattan)
  • 1st Annual Co-Wide Richard Marcinko Award for Tenacity, Loyalty and Single Mindedness of Purpose in the Pursuit of Excellence: Director of Sales Stephen Preuss (Queens)
  • 14th Annual Louis Brause Award for Outstanding Business Development and Goodwill Promotion: Director of Sales Brock Emmetsberger (Manhattan)
  • 9th Annual Nicholas T. Donovan Award for Outstanding Business Development and Goodwill Promotion: Managing Director - Queens, Partner Tom Donovan (Queens)
  • 6th Annual Michael Fuchs/Aby Rosen Award for Outstanding Business Development and Goodwill Promotion: Director of Sales Jonathan Berman (Brooklyn)
  • 3rd Annual Morton Apfeldorf Award for Integrity and Corporate Citizenship: Chief Financial Officer Mike Wlody (Manhattan)
  • 1st Annual Thomas A. Donovan Award for Execution: Partner Shimon Shkury and his Northern Manhattan Team (N. Manhattan/Bronx)
  • 5th Annual James Ventura Award for the Unsung Hero Whose Efforts and Accomplishments Have Gone Above and Beyond the Call of Duty: Director of Accounting Rita Elona (Manhattan)
  • 6th Annual Robert A. Knakal Chairman's Award for Outstanding Service and Promotion of The Massey Knakal Mission: Vice President - Corporate Services, Partner Christy Moyle (Manhattan)
  • 2nd Annual Massey Knakal Charitable Foundation Award for Making a Difference: Senior Director of Sales Paul Smadbeck (Manhattan)
Download the PDF Announcement

Agents: Brock Emmetsberger, Paul Smadbeck, Robert Burton, Stephen Preuss, Thomas Donovan

Perhaps the most difficult property type to determine value for today is vacant land or low rise properties which one would think have a highest and best use as a development site. The difficulty stems from a lack of transactions upon which to form an opinion.

Agents: Robert Knakal

The subject property is a high security, two story, office/flex building located on the southeast corner of West Broadway and Lord Avenue in Inwood, NY. The property enjoys approx. 162' of frontage on Hoover St. and 102' of frontage on West Broadway. The property features a partially covered, gated parking lot on the ground floor for 14 vehicles. The building is approx. 24,700 sq. ft. and features approx. 50% office and 50% warehouse flex space.

Click here for listing details.

Neighborhoods: Nassau County/ Agents: Thomas Donovan

Bob Knakal on Fox Business News

2/6/2009 5:07:42 PM/ Massey Knakal/ News

Agents: Robert Knakal

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