O’Connor Closes Sale to City University


O’Connor Closes Sale to City University

O’Connor Capital Partners closed the sale of a Long Island City property to the City University of New York’s graduate center, completing an almost decadelong effort to develop the former industrial site.

The Graduate Center Foundation Housing Corp., a supporting organization of The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, closed on a $22.5 million deal to purchase roughly half of a 2-acre site at 5-11 47th Ave. The Graduate Center, CUNY’s doctoral-granting college, intends to erect a building that could be as large as six stories with 200 apartment units that will house graduate students and faculty. The site’s proximity to several subway lines allows for an easy commute to the college at 365 Fifth Avenue, near East 34th Street, said Sebastian Persico, senior vice president of finance and administration.

O’Connor Capital began assembling the 2 acres of industrial land in 2006 and later secured approval for a cleanup plan and zoning changes, said Chief Executive Bill O’Connor. The firm envisioned a luxury rental building and student housing, Mr. O’Connor said. About two years ago, O’Connor Capital completed construction on the site of The Maximillian, a 188-unit luxury rental building, which it now owns with Rose associates. The building was leased in four months.

The appeal of the Long Island City location was obvious, Mr. O’Connor said.

“It’s so close to transportation, close to Midtown [Manhattan] and had great access to the waterfront,” Mr. O’Connor said.

—Keiko Morris