A New York City based-LLC has sent Uptown Kingston’s real estate boom to new heights by placing a $4.2 million bid on a Crown Street building owned by the Kingston City School District.
The Kingston City School District has been seeking to sell its current administrative headquarters at 61 Crown St. since 2013. In 2014, the district turned down two bids of approximately $660,000 on the property. Last year, Mexican hotel chain Grupo Habita unveiled a proposal to buy the building for $1 million for conversion into a 34-room boutique hotel. Instead, on the recommendation of Kingston real estate broker Joe Deegan, the district placed the parcel back on the market with an asking price of $2.25 million.
Friday’s bid by 61 Crown Street LLC came in at nearly double the asking price for a total of $4,253,000. The next highest bidder, Hoboken, N.J.-based Ironstate Holdings LLC, offered $1.8 million with a free lease-back period of up to two years or $2 million with a one-year lease-back period with a rent of $10 per square foot.
A representative for 61 Crown Street LLC told the Kingston Times that the $4.2 million offer was made on behalf of BRE Properties. State records indicate that BRE Properties is a “Foreign Limited Liability Corporation” based at 544 Hudson St. in New York City. LLC’s associated with the company are listed as owners of a number of Manhattan residential and commercial properties. Deegan said that he did not know what the high-bidder’s plans were for the property.
BRE represents Neil Bender, owner of Manhattan-based William Gottlieb Real Estate. The company has extensive holdings in lower Manhattan and in recent years has branched out to northern Dutchess County, where Bender owns the Rhinecliff Hotel, Foster’s Coach House Restaurant and other property in the Village of Rhinebeck.
Kingston real estate broker Nan Potter entered the bid on behalf of Ironstate. Potter said the company’s bid reflected “carrying costs” that would need to be borne by the new owner for at least a year or more between when the deal closed and when the school district vacated the space.
“I think they wanted it very badly,” said Potter of BRE’s super-sized bid. “We were all flabbergasted.”
The bid on the Cioni Building comes as real estate prices in the city’s historic Stockade District have gone into an upward spiral. Much of the market has been driven by New York City-based developers like Bender and Charles Blaichman who recently rounded out his Uptown portfolio with the purchase of the Opera House, a historic building on Fair Street that houses office space. While Potter said that she expected prices to continue rising in the neighborhood, she added that she did not believe BRE’s bid would set a new neighborhood standard.
“Personally, as a realtor I don’t see how it could set the bar,” said Potter of the BRE bid. “My biggest fear is that people who have a $1 million property now think they have a $2 million property. No, your property did not become worth $2 million overnight.”
The school board will meet this week to consider the bids.