Two young real estate titans snatched up the prized Triangle Sports building steps from the soon-to-open Barclays Center — adding a crown jewel to their already impressive collection of upmarket Brooklyn properties and kicking off in earnest a real estate gold rush around the arena.
Redsky Capital LLC, helmed by recent Cornell graduates Benjamin Bernstein and Benjamin Stokes, purchased the three-sided structure on Flatbush Avenue for $4.1 million — a whopping $900 per square foot that sets a new record among comparable retail buildings in the borough, insiders say.
The young real estate barons would not comment on their plans or divulge anything about potential tenants for the site, which McDonald’s eyed earlier this year.
Triangle Sports co-owner Henry Rosa claims the new owners plan to renovate the old building’s exterior, but keep the structure standing.
The Benjamins, who graduated from Cornell in 2006, are new to the scene — however they have already acquired 170 apartments in the borough and hundreds of thousands of square footage of commercial space.
Their company recently joined forces with other buyers to purchase a coveted Bedford Avenue parcel between N. Third and N. Fourth streets in Williamsburg for $66 million — a site across the street from a planned Whole Foods that’s been rumored as a possible home for J. Crew, or even Brooklyn’s first Apple store.
Bernstein was also savvy enough to build a pier at the foot of a property he owns and plans to develop into two luxury waterfront towers in Greenpoint — part of a portfolio that includes 100 apartments and 15 condo units — so the ferry could add a local stop, according to the New York Times.
Property experts said the impressive price of the Triangle Sports building — formerly a quaint sporting goods and workwear shop owned by the same family for the past 96 years — is a sign that the arena’s arrival has put the real estate market into overdrive.
“[That’s a] huge number,” said Chris Havens, a legendary downtown real estate broker.
Even the real estate men who brokered the sale said they were impressed with the sum.
“It was a very strong offer,” said Geoff Bailey, a director at Terra CRG. “When it records, it will be a record for a vacant three-story building in Brooklyn — $900 a square foot for a vacant retail property is outstanding, throughout the borough and beyond.”