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NEW YORK CITY-Four buildings that occupy the southwest corner of Second Avenue and East 71st Street, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, are up for sale for what a source close to the deal tells GlobeSt.com could fetch in the mid-$20-million range. The contiguous five-story walk-up buildings are located at 1343-1347 Second Ave. and 242 E. 71st St. and contain 50 residential units and eight commercial stores, five of which are situated on Second Avenue.

The seller, the Estate of Dr. Manuel Stapen, had owned and operated the properties for the past 25 years. Locally based Eastern Consolidated’s vice chairman Brian Ezratty, senior director Deborah Gutoff and director Martin Ezratty, are marketing the sale.

“This offering…represents the opportunity for the new owner to benefit from a steady income stream, with near term rent increases upon lease expiration of both the residential and commercial tenants,” says Gutoff, who adds that the investment could present future upside as a mixed-use development site because there are 48,975 sf of unused air rights available.

Ezratty notes that “the air rights would enable the new owner to build a ground-up residential development of approximately 82,120 sf, containing as much as 16,424 of commercial space.” Thirty-two of the units are rent-stabilized, four are rent controlled, 13 are free market, and 11 are vacant. The average rent is $1,237, or $34 per sf, which sources is well below market rates. The source further notes that a comparable rate for studios of that size in the area is between $1,700 to $2,000.

“Another upside is the opportunity to upgrade the 11 existing vacant apartments in order to capture the tremendous escalation in residential rents that we’re seeing in New York right now,” Gutoff notes, who added that the same is true of the properties’ retail tenants, some of whose rents are up to approximately 50% under market.

One of the best advantages of this offering is its location, which is in close proximity to Madison Avenue’s boutiques, restaurants, museums, schools and gourmet markets. The bid deadline is Oct. 3.

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