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Another Housing Unit Stalled by Recession Opens for Rent on Staten Island

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 6, 2012 1:39pm

STATEN ISLAND — A huge housing development which was one of several stalled by the recession will start to take tenants in St. George this month.

The View, one of several buildings left empty by developer Leib Puretz after the mortgage crisis in 2009, was recently bought out by Madison Realty Capital, which paid $8.4 million for the debt, according to a press release.

The Manhattan based company officially took over ownership of the 255 Richmond Terrace building in late July, and recently hired St. George's Casandra Properties to rent out the apartments starting this month.

The 40-unit building joins two other nearby stalled projects, Puretz's The Pointe, St. George, and BFC Partner's The Rail, Stapleton, where units finally started to be filled this year.

"St. George is the gateway to Staten Island," said Joshua Zegen, co-founder and managing partner of Madison Realty Capital in a release. "Residents in the area have waited a long time for these defunct projects to come back on the market."

Casandra Properties, which worked on The View when Puretz was the owner, said they were glad to see the project back on its feet.

"It's an exciting project," said James Prendamano, of Casandra Properties. "It's really nice to see it come back to life and come back to be what it was intended to be."

The View has a mix of one and two bedroom apartments that, unlike the other Puretz projects, will be available for rental instead of condo sales.

The apartments will rent for market rate in the neighborhood — around $1,200 for a one bedroom — Prendamano said.

Prendamano said that he's confident that apartments in The View will lease quickly.

And if the The View follows the path of its sister project restarted this year, Prendamano's premonition will be correct.

Jacqueline Urgo, president of The Marketing Directors, which handles sales in The Pointe for Meadow Partners, told DNAinfo.com New York in May that 12 units were already sold, and interest in the building has been good.

"People are responding incredibly well to the value property that we're offering," Urgo said.

"I think the buyers respect the financial commitment that's being made to the area. It's resonating to them."

Urgo said that people were excited to get property in St. George, which they see poised to become the next hip neighborhood of New York City.

"They see an exciting future and they know they're buying in at the right time," Urgo said. "It really represents a very good opportunity and a vibrant new destination that's going to be here."

The Pointe and The View were part of several large multifamily housing units planned by Brooklyn-based Puretz in St. George.

However, when the mortgage crisis hit, Puretz defaulted on his loans and left the empty buildings in his wake, according to Crain's New York.

Puretz's other large project, the 101-condo unit The Pearl, is still in the foreclosure process, Crain's said, and some buildings never made it off of the planning table.

And while Urgo said condos in The Pointe have been going fast, the building still hasn't found a tenant for it's ground floor retail space.

The View also has ground floor retail, and has not announced a tenant for the space, though Prendamano said he's in talks with several potential renters.

A date for the grand opening of The View has not been set, but Prendamano said it should be sometime in August.