Aug. 12, 2019 - The Real Deal

Rockrose Development, known for developing skyline-defining apartment towers in Manhattan and Long Island City, is working on its first major play in Brooklyn. The Elghanayan family-controlled firm is in contract to buy a development site at the edge of Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene that can support a new apartment building of several hundred thousand square feet, sources told The Real Deal. The price for the development site, at 98 DeKalb Avenue, was not immediately clear. Sources said Rockrose, led by the father and son team of Henry and Justin Elghanayan, went into contract to purchase the property in the mid-$60 million range. The firm is also negotiating to buy adjacent air rights that would push the price higher, possibly in the $75 million range. A representative for Rockrose declined to comment. A JLL team led by Bob Knakal and Stephen Palmese is marketing the property. The brokers could not be reached for comment.

The project at 98 DeKalb would be Rockrose’s first significant development in Brooklyn since the Elghanayans launched the firm several decades ago. The site spans three lots at the corner of Ashland Place and DeKalb Avenue that include a parking garage and small walk-up buildings in a commercially zoned area. But just across the street, the zoning changes to low-density residential, which would protect a new tower’s views of the verdant Fort Greene Park nearby. The property is eligible for Affordable New York, the state’s tax abatement program that replaced 421a, as well as tax breaks under the Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program. A new building would join similar projects that have sprouted up in Downtown Brooklyn in recent years such as the Gotham Organization’s 53-story rental building at 250 Ashland Place and the various buildings at City Point. Rockrose, meanwhile, is wrapping up work on its new 18-story rental building at 43-12 Hunter Street in Long Island City, dubbed “The Cove.”