Shaoul Seeks $53 Million For Six Buildings On East Fourth

propertyMassey Knakal Realty

Benjamin Shaoul is selling off a slew of his East Fourth Street apartment buildings.

195, 199, 201 and 203 East Fourth Street are on the market as a package deal for $32 million, a listing posted by Massey Knakal Realty indicates. The buildings include 46 residential units and one store, according to the listing.

Just a few blocks west, another two apartment buildings are for sale, said John Cirallo, Vice Chairman of Massey Knakal. 118 and 120-122 East Fourth Street are being sold as a package for $23 million, a recent drop from $25 million. They include 69 residential units.

Rent-stabilized tenants of those two buildings are responsible for Occupy East 4th Street, a blog dedicated to “maintaining East 4th Street as the diverse and mixed-income block it’s always been” in the face of what the site says is Mr. Shaoul’s plan to “empty our buildings of tenants, many of whom are rent-stabilized and senior citizens, do a cheap renovation and raise rents beyond market rate.” In July, eight rent-stabilized tenants of the buildings spoke about their landlord with The Times. “They recalled not learning who owned their buildings for months, lost rent checks, eviction notices, heat and hot water turned off with little notice, scant communication from the management company, a menacing property manager and intense construction that lasted well over a year,” The Times wrote.

Salon Champu new locationSalon Champu moved from 195 to 199 in September. Suzanne Rozdeba

Mr. Cirallo would not reveal the name of the owner of the six buildings for sale, but said they were owned by the same individual and entirely renovated with new roofs (when needed), mechanics, and building restructures. Amenities were added to apartments and common areas.

Construction permit applications filed with the Department of Buildings in recent years list Benjamin Shaoul as an owner of 118, 195 and 203 East Fourth Street.

“It’s what he does,” Mr. Cirallo said of the mystery seller. “He buys buildings that need some TLC, spends a couple years renovating them, maximizing the rent role and then he sells them for a profit and then goes on to the next project.”

Mr. Cirallo said the two buildings between Second and First Avenues have been on the market for about four or five months and the four between Avenues A and B went on the market a few weeks ago.

The buildings will likely appeal to a foreign investor or fund that isn’t looking for a cheap fixer-upper, Mr. Cirallo observed. “These are already stable apartments, they can achieve a certain return and [the buyer will] not have to worry about intensive management,” he said. Despite that upside, there are less buyers looking for that type of investment, he said.

Asked to confirm that the properties all belong to Mr. Shaoul and whether he plans to sell all of his East Village properties (a rumor recently floated by EV Grieve) the developer’s representative, Kenneth Fisher, said, “We decided not to respond to any part of your inquiry.”