Image of 117 Grattan Street tenant memo announcing sale, obtained by Hyperallergic

Long-time landlord Venus Knitting Mills has sold its 90-unit studio building at 117 Grattan Street in Bushwick to an investment firm for $20.8 million, New York real estate website The Real Deal reported. Tenants at the popular studio building were informed that it changed ownership in a memo (pictured above) delivered to their spaces last week. The memo notifies tenants that the new landlord will be meeting with tenants door-to-door on July 1 and 2.


117 Grattan Street (image via Google Street View)

A current renter, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the lease renewal process, told Hyperallergic that all tenants were asked to sign a form six weeks ago “that stated what each of our rents were and that our lease would end (in most cases) on May 31 of this year.” The reasoning given at the time was a refinancing by the previous owner, rather than a sale, the source added.

Emmes Asset Management, the real estate investment advisory firm that purchased 117 Grattan on behalf of a pension fund client, declined to further identify the purchaser to The Real Deal’s reporter, and public records are inconclusive. The previous owner, Venus Knitting Mills, had owned the structure since 1983. Hyperallergic could not immediately reach representatives from either party for comment.

“We have convictions about that market, it’s in a very robust commercial and creative community … that is still burgeoning,” Seble Tareke Williams, a managing director at Emmes, told The Real Deal. “We like it in its current use, so we’re not looking to change it up,” Williams said.

According to building records, 117 Grattan has several open violations, though only one — involving the elevator — dates to this year; in 2009 the building was fined $4,500 between five separate construction-related violations.

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Mostafa Heddaya

Mostafa Heddaya is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic.