Fortress Real Developments has acquired a sought-after residential site known as “Brookdale on Avenue Road.” Fortress plans to start construction later this year along with partners Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group.
Originally owned by Mady Developments, the one-acre site comprises a full block on the west side of Avenue Road from Brookdale north to Fairlawn. The project is approved for 146,917 square feet of residential and another 20,129 square feet of commercial, plus a small rental component.
Fortress Real Developments stepped in to acquire the site after Mady began to suffer financial strain and the property went into a power of sale. “”It was left as a huge mess,” said Jawad Rathore, President & CEO of Fortress. “All the mortgages were in arrears, taxes were unpaid, and there were many registered liens. But in a matter of weeks we navigated a series of complicated legal maneuvers and came out on top.”
With 50 per cent of units already presold, the rest are expected to move quickly. “Our office has received numerous inquiries and offers to purchase already,” said Sam Crignano, President & Partner of Cityzen Development Group. “We look forward to starting construction over the next few months.This is a great site and we are pleased to be working with our partners at Fortress and Fernbrook.”
The site garnered tremendous interest as many other developers sought to outbid each other on the prime asset. Vince Petrozza, Fortress COO, helmed the team that navigated this complicated process. “It was incredible. We were putting together our deal with our new partners at the same time as we were cleaning up arrears and liens that the previous owners had left behind on both the first and second mortgages. Multiple parties were bidding aggressively early on in the process on a site that we knew ourselves has tremendous value. That shows the depth of this market, the open market value of this site and the tremendous value we were able to obtain it for.”
With permits already paid for and multiple offers for complete project financing, construction is expected to start in the next few months. “The team at Fortress prides itself on being creative and innovative. We really showed all of that off on this deal and are very excited to move ahead with top shelf partners in Fernbrook and Cityzen,” said Frank Margani, EVP of Strategy & Development at Fortress.