12.24.12 | Real Deal New York

Crown, Centurion and Imperium pay $20 million for Soho mixed-use building

The Chera family’s Crown Acquisitions has partnered with Centurion Realty and Imperium Capital to purchase a mixed-use building at 120 Prince Street for $20 million, Ralph Tawil, president of Centurion, told The Real Deal. The same three Midtown firms joined forces in November 2011 to pay $70.85 million for the Apple store building at 103 Prince Street, at Greene Street, in a deal that also included a property in Queens.

The Prince Street building, situated between Wooster and Greene streets, has 70 feet of frontage on Prince Street, and “the plan is to keep it as high-end retail,” Tawil said.

The building is composed of 1,750 on the ground floor, divided into four retail units and another 1,750 square feet of residential space on the second floor. Crown owns 50 percent, and Centurion and Imperium together own the other 50 percent, Tawil said.

The seller, Greene Edgar, retained ownership of an adjacent five-story mixed-use building on the corner of Wooster and Prince Streets with the address of 126 Prince Street.

The city’s most active retail investors have been snapping up properties in Soho, where the Real Estate Board of New York shows asking rents rose modestly over the last year to about $542 per square foot from $506 per square foot in the fall of 2011.

“There is a lot of demand from the retailers to be there,” said Sam Schneider, managing partner at Imperium, and that demand is creating interest from institutional owners to purchase the stores.

The highest-profile acquisition in the neighborhood this year was 529 Broadway, a two-story building at the corner of Spring Street for which Jeff Sutton, Thor Equities, Aurora Capital Associates and the Adjmi family partnered to buy last week for approximately $150 million.

In addition, Thor Equities and an affiliate of Jenel Management on September 7 paid $22 million for 494 Broadway, a 9,200-square-foot commercial building between Spring and Broome streets.

And in August, Lloyd Goldman’s BLDG Management purchased 102 Greene Street, between Prince and Spring Streets, for $11.9 million.

All three 120 Prince Street buyers have been active purchasers this year. Crown bought a minority interest in Olympic Tower at 640 Fifth Avenue at 51st Street, while Imperium partnered with Stellar Management to pay $200 million for the Soho office buildings 161 Sixth Avenue at Spring Street and 233 Spring Street, between Varick Street and Sixth Ave.

Centurion is a significant owner in Soho, and last week purchased two smaller properties in the area. Tawil’s firm bought 473 West Broadway, at Houston Street, for $9 million and a retail condominium at 119 Chambers Street, between Church and West Broadway, for $2.5 million.

The five-story 473 West Broadway property backs up against another Centurion building, the 40,500-square-foot 155 Wooster Street at Houston Street, which the company purchased in 2004.

And in November, Centurion partnered with Sitt Asset Management to buy the 25,000-square-foot retail and office building 113 Spring Street, between Greene and Mercer streets, for $32.5 million.