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NEW YORK CITY-A slice of Times Square owned by a religious organization is net leased to a restaurant group that intends to transform the now-vacant 4,500-sf site into an eatery. Locally based Massey Knakal Realty Services facilitated the arrangement for 352 West 44th St. Vice Verse Restaurant Group, also based here, will shell out $160,000 per year for 25 years, which works out to be $35.66 per sf. According to city records, the site is owned by the Missionaries of St. Charles and the Pious Society.

The two-story, 25-foot-wide commercial building is in need of large-scale renovations, according to Massey Knakal broker Christopher Brodhead, who exclusively repped the seller. The tenant was represented by Coldwell Banker Commercial. The ground floor has open space outfitted for a banquet hall with a bar area and commercial kitchen, while the upper floor is open office space.

“This was a very underutilized building owned by a religious organization,” points out Brodhead. “The owner will channel the income received from the lease to fund its good works abroad.”

In another Massey Knakal deal in a hot neighborhood, an 8,722-sf corner development at 358-64 Bowery in Chelsea trades in an all-cash transaction valued at $5.5 million. The buyer, Bowery Bar, can develop an office building or hotel with approximately 43,610 sf, or approximately 56,694 sf for a community facility. Located at the corner of Bowery and East 4th St., it is currently leased to the B Bar Grill and Café. That lease has a termination clause that would allow for the increased development on the site.

“This site could accommodate a variety of commercial uses that will benefit from the Bowery corridor’s strong new retail presence,” says Massey Knakal partner James Nelson, who exclusively represented the seller with chairman Robert Knakal and was the sole broker in the transaction. He says the addition of new hotels, bars and restaurants has brought new foot traffic to the area.

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