By Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS ‚ÄĒ Since reporting on Wednesday that the former Standish Arms Hotel, which has served as a residential building for the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society since 1981, had been sold to an unnamed buyer, the Eagle has learned the name of that buyer.
‚ÄúRecently, an affiliate of Taurus Investment Holdings purchased the iconic 120-unit 169 Columbia Heights,‚ÄĚ said Arlene Waye, principal of Awaye Realty, who has been named the exclusive rental agent for the building. ‚ÄúTaurus is a global real estate investment and development company which will reposition the building as a full-service residential building offering high-end luxury rentals.‚ÄĚ
According to Waye, renovations have already begun and a couple of units are ready for showing.
Renovations in the units include upgrading the kitchens and bathrooms and installing new wood flooring.
Elsewhere in the building, a state-of-the-art laundry facility and gym-and-spa will be installed in the basement and eventually there will be a rooftop terrace and 24-hour concierge.
Awaye Realty just launched its marketing effort and ‚Äúwe have been flooded with calls. We have three to four people a day coming through already.‚ÄĚ
Rents for studios will start at $2,000, $2,750 for a one-bedroom and $3,600 for a two-bedroom apartment.
‚ÄúThis is one of the most beautiful buildings I‚Äôve ever been in, second to none, and it‚Äôs on the best block in Brooklyn,‚ÄĚ said Waye, adding that ‚Äúevery unit is great,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúthe lobby is elegant‚ÄĚ and there are ‚Äúbreathless, unobstructed views‚ÄĚ of the East River, South Street Seaport, the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline ‚ÄĒ from the fourth floor up, and of Brooklyn Heights from all floors.
Additionally, every unit has light and air because the building was constructed as an ‚ÄúH,‚ÄĚ she said.
Waye and her staff did some research on the building‚Äôs history.
‚ÄúIt has housed Clark Kent (Superman) in apartment 5G, was the setting for Willy‚Äôs pivotal affair in ‚ÄėDeath of a Salesman,‚Äô and inspired Kenneth Burke‚Äôs New York poetry,‚ÄĚ she said.
It appears that Taurus Investment Holdings will not be a longterm owner, however.
According to its Web site, Taurus acquires assets with less than 100 percent occupancy, with leases that will expire shortly, and where average rents are well below the market rate.
‚ÄúTaurus then undertakes building improvements and new lease negotiations immediately after acquisition in order to increase value as soon as possible.‚ÄĚ
Additionally, its main objective is ‚Äúto substantially improve the property‚Äôs value within the projected holding period so a potential future buyer will be willing to pay a premium for stable longterm cash flows and returns,‚ÄĚ according to the site. ‚ÄúThe earlier the scheduled work is completed, the sooner the building can be offered on the market.‚ÄĚ
Originally founded in Germany, Taurus now has offices in Atlanta, Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando and Dallas, as well as Toronto, Latin America and Turkey.
In the same Eagle article earlier this week, it was incorrectly reported that the Watchtower residential building at 67 Livingston St. (the ‚Äúsliver building‚ÄĚ) was sold to NYU. It was actually acquired by Glory Capital and subsequently leased to NYU.
Glory Capital announced in September that NYU would convert it to dormitory use and it is the school‚Äôs first effort to ‚Äúexpand their campus outside of Manhattan.‚ÄĚ
Also, the Eagle neglected to state that Glory Capital had acquired the Watchtower residential building at 10 Clark St., for which Awaye Realty was also named exclusive leasing agent and which leased up quickly, according to Waye (it has only one remaining available apartment).
Glory Capital is described on its Web site as ‚Äúa boutique New York City-based real estate investment firm, currently involved in over 3 million square feet of residential, commercial and mixed-use property.‚ÄĚ
¬© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2007
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