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Lam Group in contract to buy pair of Broadway buildings.

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The Lam Group, a prolific developer of hotel properties in the city, is in contract to acquire a pair of buildings on Broadway at 30th Street that could be the site of a new hotel development.

According to sources, the company will purchase 1205 and 1225 Broadway for $72 million. Together, the two buildings offer about 250,000 s/f of buildable space and up to 370,000 s/f if the developer acquires adjacent properties that are also on the market.

The family-run real estate firm, Mocal Realty, was the seller in the transaction, which was brokered by Bob Knakal and John Ciraulo, top executives at the real estate sales brokerage Massey Knakal Realty Services. Calls to the Lam Group, as well as Knakal, were not returned by press time.

The properties are located in an area known for its collection of dingy, run down buildings, ticky-tacky shops hawking perfume, handbags and trinkets, and a rough and tumble crew of retail goods sellers and street traders who lug their wares in large shopping bags along Broadway.

The neighborhood is also one of the few nameless areas of Manhattan, bounded on the south by Madison Square Park, the Garment District and Penn Station to the north and west and Kips Bay to the east.

But in recent years, the area has begun to attract developers who see its upside potential.

In 2009, the Ace Hotel opened on the comer of 29th Street and Broadway, injecting a large dose of chic into the gritty neighborhood. Last year, the newly constructed hotel, the Gansevoort, opened on Park Avenue South and 29th Street.

1205 Broadway is a three story retail building and 1225 Broadway is an eight floor office property roughly 100,000 s/f in size with ground level retail space. Both buildings are about half vacant, sources say, indicating that Mocal had been emptying the properties to facilitate their potential as a redevelopment project.

Massey Knakal is also marketing several other properties on 30th Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway that are adjacent to 1205 and 1225 and would allow a larger development parcel to be assembled. Sources say that Massey Knakal is currently in talks with Lam to potentially acquire these sites as well, which are not owned by Mocal.

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Comment:Lam Group in contract to buy pair of Broadway buildings.
Author:Geiger, Daniel
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Aug 17, 2011
Words:382
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