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NEW YORK CITY-The Harlem renaissance goes on. Revitalization efforts including work on the Apollo Theatre is attracting investor interest. In one sale, two apartment buildings at 506 and 514 West 146th St. in the Hamilton Heights section just traded for $3.3 million.

“These buildings have great upside potential, as the current average rental is only $746 per apartment,” says Ilan Atzil of Itzhaki Properties, who represented the unidentified buyer. He added that the buildings also benefit from a tax abatement, which extends for more than 20 years. Combined, the two six-story walk-up apartment buildings offer 38 apartments totaling 33,372 sf.

Atzil was just promoted to the post of vice president. He has been involved in the sale of more 28 buildings, with a specialty in procuring deals and facilitating sales in the northern part of Manhattan, particularly in the up-and-coming East Harlem neighborhood. He also manages all Itzhaki agents who also work in the Harlem region. Currently, he is spearheading the marketing initiative for the sale of 211 – 215 East 116th St., a four-story, mixed-use building priced at $1.75 million.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s project and development services group has just completed the first phase of the restoration of the historic Apollo Theater. JLL was selected by the Apollo Theater Foundation Inc. as project manager overseeing the complete restoration. The 91-year-old landmark’s exterior has undergone construction over the past two years, resulting in a fully refurbished terracotta facade, a stainless steel and glass storefront and a new box office. Future work to be performed by Jones Lang LaSalle will include the installation of new seating, renovation and expansion of existing support facilities and dressing rooms, complete restoration of the auditorium and lobby, and completion of a new gift shop.

“For years, Manhattan real estate investors and condominium converters steered clear of sites above 96th Street for fear of crime, drug activity and substandard upkeep,” says Andrew Salomon of Massey Knakal “Over the last five years, however, the resurgence of Harlem’s real estate has pushed the imaginary line of interest further north.”

He points to projects such as Harlem Park, the 34-story, 550,000-sf, $220-million project on 125th and Park Avenue and the Harlem Auto Mall, which is set to be the largest auto sales and service center in New York City. He adds that projects such as Harlem Hospital’s five-year, $226-million modernization and expansion will “enable the improvement of its physical and therapeutic environment, and offer more state-of-the-art services to Harlem and its surrounding neighborhoods.” He says its growth has had a direct correlation with prices fluctuating in central Harlem’s once “left for dead” townhouse market. “Just over five years ago, you couldn’t walk the blocks north of 135th Street without noticing the vast vacant townhouses and crippling distinct architecture. As doctors, nurses, and hospital employees established themselves, they sought living quarters closer to work.”

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