Another smart/lucky land buyer was John Catsimatidis, CEO of the Red Apple Group, which owns real estate, oil refining, convenience stores and two supermarket chains: Red Apple and Gristedes.
The New York Times 2/19/14 offered THE 30-MINUTE INTERVIEW: John A. Catsimatidis:
Q. And there’s development in Downtown Brooklyn, around Myrtle and Flatbush Avenue.
A. In 2007 we were going to build this as one big project — it was a $500 million project — except none of the banks had $500 million. They had the problem. I bought this property about 30 years ago — three city blocks. We paid about $400,000. Now it’s been estimated, just the land alone, at $200 million.
Four residential buildings. We built the first one. It’s a rental, about 110 units — studios, one-, two-, three-bedrooms — with a Red Apple supermarket and a CVS store at the bottom.
We began construction on the next building in November — we’re up to the fourth floor. We should be finished by this fall. There will be around 220 to 230 rental units. Then I pressed the button on another building. We are supposed to start the foundation by March or April.
Then the minute we put the foundation in we start on the fourth building, a 40-story tower. It will be rental, but maybe we’ll put condos on the top 10 floors. We’re reserving our rights.