A major Manhattan real estate player has sold off three of its East Village buildings in deals totaling $32 million.
With the sales, which occurred during the past two weeks, EMMES Property Group has divested itself of all its properties in the neighborhood, according to a press release from Cushman & Wakefield, which brokered the deals. EMMES originally bought the East Village properties as part of a 30-building portfolio in 1997.
In the first deal, two contiguous buildings at 192 and 194 First Avenue were sold to Nazarian Property Group for a combined total of $13 million. One of the buildings houses Polish-American diner Neptune, a cheap-eats standby that opened in 2001 and is one of the neighborhood’s Eastern European holdovers. Last year, Neptune’s storefront was listed for rent. A neighboring laundromat space was said to be “ideal for juice bar or cafe.” The property, located between 11th and 12th Streets, also includes 16 residential units. Lionel Nazarian said his property group has “no plans” for the buildings yet.
Another building, at 92-94 Second Avenue, went to the Sabet Group, which declined to comment on the $19 million sale or any of the building’s 20 residential units or two commercial units. One of the ground-floor retail spaces, formerly home to Kabin Bar, has been unoccupied since February of 2015. The other is currently occupied by a restaurant, Local 92.
The Sabet Group has made headlines in the past for alleged tenant harassment at several of their properties. Tenants in two buildings on 25th Street even took their complaints, which included unmitigated construction, severed telecoms, bug infestations and gas leaks, all the way to the New York State Supreme Court last year. More recently, the company was criticized for dramatically raising the rents on several newly acquired tenants in the West Village, including the prestigious Joffrey ballet school.