NEW YORK CITY-Isaac Chetrit, a relative of the real estate powerhouse Joseph Chetrit, has recently put two Garment District buildings under contract to buy in separate transactions. According to CB Richard Ellis VP Paul Walker, he is purchasing 989 Avenue of the Americas for $49 million and 240 W. 37th St. for about $43 million.

989 6th Ave. is 91,050-sf, 21-story building owned and managed by Himmel and Meringoff Properties. The fully occupied building’s tenants include Coleman Research Group LLC, National Jewish Outreach Program and United Alliance Foundation Inc. Azita Aghravi, senior director at Eastern Consolidated, is said to be Chetrit’s broker. Eastern Consolidated declined to comment.

Chetrit’s other buy lands him the 131,900-sf, 97.7%-occupied 240 W. 37th St. The 3,000 sf available in the building is on the market for $12 per sf, according to a source. Major tenants include Kesselman Trimmings Inc., Biana Liquidators and Auctioneers LLC and Rina Rossi Inc. Grubb & Ellis’ Vin Carrega and Neil Helman were marketing the property. They both declined to comment on the deal. Alan Helman of Walter and Samuel is said to be representing Chetrit in the deal. He did not return calls seeking comment about the pending sale.

Walker tells that Chetrit will likely renovated the building, he will “have no choice because in order to come out on top when you buy a building at that price, eventually you need to gets rents to the upper $20s per sf. The unusually large floor plates for a side-street building, great light and “nice bones” Walker says made the building attractive. The downside he saw was that most of the leases don’t expire until 2010 or 2011.

The Garment District has increasingly of late become an area of interest for investors. “These are good starter buildings.” Walker says he is seeing smaller investors, “smaller local investors that want to get their feet wet by buying a class C property,” pursuing area deals. The lower price points can give non-traditional New York City investors a chance to own part of the market.

For his part, Joseph Chetrit just recently sold off one of his Manhattan properties to L&L Holding Co. LLC. Chetrit disposed of the 800,000-sf office building 200 Fifth Ave. for $500 million. His organization, the Chetrit Group is currently working on plans to develop a 37-story mixed-use building at 855 Sixth Ave.

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