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NEW YORK CITY-A local residential operator closes on its purchase of a four-building residential package comprised of 50 apartments and eight commercial stores here for $27.5 million. The properties, which were owned by the Estate of Dr. Manuel Stapen, are located at 1343-1347 Second Ave. and 242 E. 71st St.

GlobeSt.com exclusively learned that the continuous five-story walk-up buildings were going on the market in September. Locally based Eastern Consolidated’s vice chairman Brian Ezratty, senior director Deborah Gutoff and director Martin Ezratty represented the seller, who had owned and operated the properties for the past 25 years. Gutoff together with Eastern Consolidated senior director Azita Aghravi procured the buyer.

“A number of factors drove this sale,” explains Gutoff, “one of the most significant was the property’s stellar location, literally blocks from the designer stores on Madison and trendy restaurants on Second and Third Avenues. It’s rare to be able to acquire such a four-building package on the Upper East Side. Consequently, the offering generated more than two dozen bids, but the winner succeeded by presenting very aggressive terms.”

Ezratty explains that “there is no doubt that property values anywhere near the new Second Avenue subway will increase once it is completed in 2011, and this site is in close proximity to one of the entrances of the new subway at Second Avenue and 72nd Street.” For the immediate future, the buyer will continue to operate the properties as they are, upgrading them when leases expire in order to release at significantly higher rents.

The property consists of 32 rent stabilized apartments, four rent controlled and 13 free market. As for retail, there are eight commercial stores, five of which are located on Second Avenue. 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 and $2,000.

Additionally, the property was sold with 48,975 sf of air rights that eventually can enable the new owner to build a ground-up residential development of approximately 82,120 sf with as much as 16,424 sf of commercial space. According to Aghravi, “the buyers were keen to own a package of Upper East Side corner properties, they were pleased to acquire a site that had not changed hands for more than 25 years, and they realized that the Second Avenue subway would enhance values of both the retail and residential components.”

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