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Goldman Sachs Buys Staten Island Outlet Mall at Auction

Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group has acquired the Empire Outlets mall on Staten Island from BFC Partners in a foreclosure auction.

Goldman Sachs, who was the senior lender on a loan for the mall, acquired the property with a winning bid of $10M, according to a report in the Staten Island Advance.

Staten Island-based Grinberg Management also bid on the 340K SF outlet mall, dropping out after the bidding reached $9M, the report said.

The $350M Empire Outlets—which is believed to be the first outlet mall in NYC—broke ground in 2015 but was not ready to launch until 2019. The pandemic outbreak led to several tenants vacating 50K SF.

After BFC fell behind on debt payments, BFC and senior lenders Goldman Sachs and Sterling National Bank agreed last year to put the property into foreclosure.

Empire Outlets was planned as a retail centerpiece for economic development on Staten Island’s North Shore, but it became one of a series of projects that faltered. A project to build a 420-foot-tall New York Wheel did not come to fruition.

Earlier this month, Mayor Eric Adams announced that NYC will invest $440M to revitalize the North Shore waterfront.

The city’s plan for the waterfront, which Adams called a “once in a generation investment,” includes the development of 2,400 housing units, a school and open public space. A portion of the city’s investment will include flood resiliency measures.

Lighthouse Point, a 12-story, 115-unit high-rise, is under construction over the St. George Terminal for the Staten Island Ferry, with a completion date expected in late 2024.

In his second State of the City address at the beginning of the year, Adams proposed to rezone an area on Staten Island’s North Shore to permit expanded mixed-use development and improved waterfront access. The Staten Island rezone is one of a series of zoning shifts the mayor has proposed to speed the development of new housing in NYC.

In January, Adams proposed to rezone a wide swath of Midtown Manhattan to facilitate new housing. The proposal encompassed a 46-block area from W. 23rd to W. 41st streets, where NYC wants to erase zoning restrictions that limit uses to offices or manufacturing—allowing dozens of aging office buildings to be converted into apartments.

Adams estimated that the Midtown area covered by the proposal—which stretches from Chelsea up through the Garment District—can yield 20,000 housing units, making a significant contribution to the mayor’s “Moonshot” plan to build 500K new housing units in NYC in the coming decade.

NYC also is preparing a massive rezoning initiative for a 46-block area in proximity to Metro North train stations in the Bronx. The initiative aims to spur the creation of 6,000 new homes, with a minimum of 25% of the new units designated affordable.

Earlier this month, Adams proposed to rezone a 13-block stretch of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn to allow for the development of 4,000 new homes, of which 1,550 will be income-restricted.
Reprinted with permission from the Thu, 28 Sep 2023 05:17:14 EDT online edition of GlobeSt © 2023 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited, contact 877-256-2472 or reprints@alm.com.