Mahfar Buys 102 Norfolk St., Home of The Back Room, For $11 Million
Samy Mahfar’s SMA Equities has acquired another Lower East Side building. According to city finance department records, he purchased 102 Norfolk St. last month for $11 million. The six story residential building includes 25 residential units and two commercial spaces housing famed LES speakeasy, The Back Room and Saro Bistro.
The listing from Massey Knakal Realty was offering the building, located just north of Delancey Street, for $11.95 million. At the time the offer was published, all but four of the apartments were rent stabilized. Massey Knakal noted, “the offering provides tremendous upside in the rents considering 85% of the apartments are Rent Stabilized and the Free Market units are also renting at below market.” The Back Room’s lease does not expire until the year 2020.
A futuristic, 12-story condo project is set to go up on the lot next door to 102 Norfolk St. Air rights were shifted to that property from Mahfar’s new acquisition. Yesterday, he told us the plan is to upgrade the building and that there are no plans for new development on the site. Monday night, during The Lo-Down’s panel discussion on historic preservation at the Manny Cantor Center, Mahfar said he usually chooses to restore old buildings on the Lower East Side (rather than build new ones) because that’s what renters seeking out the neighborhood want.
In recent years, Mahfar has become a major player in the Lower east Side’s real estate arena, purchasing many buildings, such as 143 Ludlow, 177 Ludlow and 210 Rivington.