Brooklyn Law School has sold 2 Pierrepont St. in Brooklyn Heights for $35 million. The 12-story, more than 40,000-square-foot building serves as a rental-housing facility for students and faculty. The property was acquired by Vincent Viola, the owner of the Florida Panthers National Hockey Team and executive chairman of New York City-based Virtu Financial, an electronic financial markets company.
"As an independent institution one of our strengths is the ability to respond nimbly to positive market forces," said Nicholas Allard, president and dean of the school, in a statement. The Brooklyn Law School board of trustees had been "carefully studying" the potential sale of the building for "quite some time" and determined it was the "opportune time to sell….given the current hot real estate market in the Heights." The school sold a half-a-dozen properties to the Kushner Companies in 2014.
Brooklyn Law alumni Frederick Cohen and Dennis Konner, partners at Duane Morris, represented the law school.
Mitchell Goldberg of the law firm Ochs & Goldberg represented the buyer.
Brooklyn Law School, which acquired the Pierrepont Street property in 1985 for $2.2 million, placed it on the market this past summer and had more than a dozen bidders. "The purchaser was cooperative in understanding the needs of the law school," said Cohen, who is also on the board of trustees.
In a prime location near Willow Street, the building contains 39 apartments. Viola declined to comment on his plans for the building.
The law school will continue to "provide guaranteed housing for all first-year students as well as to some faculty and staff members" as it has for the past decade, Allard said.
Founded in 1901, Brooklyn Law School has recently added a two-year J.D. program and a Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship as well as implementing a 15 percent tuition reduction across the board. Brooklyn Law School is among the top 20 accredited law schools in the country, according to a 2014 American Bar Association study.
In addition to the Panthers and Virtu Financial, Viola served as a former chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange. He is a graduate of the New York Law School; the U.S. Army Airborne, Infantry and Ranger Schools; and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Stephen Palmese, a vice chairman, capital markets group at Cushman & Wakefield in Brooklyn, brokered the deal for the law school.
Shaw Industries Inc., one of the world's largest carpet manufacturers, will be opening a state-of-the-art showroom at 853 Broadway on Union Square for the Shaw Contract Group, one of its commercial brands. Shaw has a long-term lease for nearly 8,000 square feet with The Feil Organization.
The contract group will be leaving its existing space at 521 Fifth Ave., between 43rd and 44th streets, by the end of the year.
"The creative energy of the Union Square neighborhood reflects our focus on great design and creativity," said John Stephens, vice president of marketing, Shaw Contract Group.
Shaw Industries, a division of Berkshire Hathaway Company, is a subsidiary of Shaw Industries Group Inc. and is headquartered Dalton, Georgia.
Feil was represented in-house by legal counsels Brian Palumbo and Michele Frankel.
Kevin Walsh of the Law Offices of Kevin M. Walsh in Snellville, Georgia represented Shaw.
The average asking rental rate in midtown south is about $72 per square, according to CBRE Inc.'s Manhattan office market report for September.
The contract group will occupy the entire 3rd floor of the 21-story, 212,000-square-foot office building located at the southwest corner of Broadway and 14th Street. Feil said in an announcement that the third floor is one of three that was recently renovated with a glass curtain wall, along with renovations to the façade and lobby.
Shaw's lease was the first new lease since the renovation, said Robert Fisher, Feil's director of commercial leasing, in a statement who handled the lease for Feil.
Shaw Contract Group provides flooring for commercial real estate properties. Its products are used by architects and designers for corporate facilities, hospitals, schools, hospitality, retail establishments and government facilities.
"We hope that the new showroom becomes a hub for the New York design community," said Stephens. Shaw also has showrooms in Atlanta, London and Singapore.
Feil owns and operates a nationwide portfolio of more than 26 million square feet of retail and commercial space plus more than 5,000 residential rental units.
Shaw's John Wilkinson, real estate director, and real estate representative Sandra Hewitt, acted on behalf of the company. In addition, CBRE's Nicholas Weld, vice president, brokerage, and senior associate Michael Affronti assisted Shaw on the lease.
Reprinted with permission from New York Law Journal, © ALM Media Properties LLC. All rights reserved.