Developers close deal that allows Brooklyn’s tallest tower

Michael Stern and Joe Chetrit purchased Dime Savings Bank in downtown Brooklyn for $90 million

Developers Michael Stern and Joe Chetrit have completed their previously announced $90 million purchase of the century-old Dime Savings Bank building in downtown Brooklyn, allowing them them to build the city’s tallest tower outside Manhattan.

The pair bought 9 DeKalb Ave. from JP Morgan Chase, which had used the space as a bank branch before putting the property on the market a year ago. As Crain’s previously reported, the developers entered into a contract this past summer to purchase the landmarked 100,000-square-foot Beaux Arts building, which was completed in 1908.

Stern and Chetrit can transfer the property’s 300,000 square feet of unused development rights to an adjacent site they own at 340 Flatbush Ave. Extension. That will allow them to build a 600,000-square-foot residential tower that will be more than 1,000 feet high. SHoP Architects will design the tower project, which will have both rental and condominium apartments.

Stern and Chetrit plan to lease 9 DeKalb Ave. as retail and restaurant space. The building, with its decorative ceilings and marble columns, may also serve as a grand entrance to the tower. Stern has previously joined historic structures to new construction. He converted a former Verizon facility on West 18th Street into a luxury condo building called Walker Tower. At 111 W. 57th St., he is erecting a 1,400-foot ultraluxury condo tower that will preserve and incorporate the landmarked former Steinway & Sons piano showroom.

Bob Knakal, Cushman & Wakefield’s chairman of investment sales, along with colleagues James Nelson and Stephen Palmese, handled the sale for JPMorgan Chase.

“This transaction is indicative of the strength of both the retail and development markets in Brooklyn,” Knakal said. “It paves the way for an iconic structure that will forever impact the Brooklyn skyline.”

By Daniel Geiger, Crain’s New York

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