Condominium Residences

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Tootsie Roll Condos Back on Track

Following last week’s closing of the $38.4 million deal to buy the former SoHo Sweets factory, developer DDG plans to begin work on the site in 60 days.


The former Tootsie Roll factory in SoHo is finally on its way to becoming a luxury condominium, according to developer DDG, which closed last week on the $38.35 million purchase of the vacant property.


Plans to convert the four-building property, located at 325 W. Broadway at Grand Street, have been in the making for seven years under two different owners. DDG bought the property from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which foreclosed on the property in 2009 after the original owner ADG-Soho defaulted on its $27 million loan. Crain’s New York Business first reported the deal last month.


The site is shovel-ready and comes with approved plans from the city’s Department of Buildings as well as the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Tootsie Roll factory project will be DDG’s first luxury condo in SoHo.


“I believe it is the most attractive site in all of SoHo,” said Joe McMillan, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of DDG, adding that he had been eyeing the project ever since Lehman took it over. “It’s a great location and prime for residential development.”


DDG expects to start demolition and begin work on the project in 60 days. The entire project will be completed in 24 months from the beginning of construction, according to Mr. McMillan.


DDG plans to preserve two of the buildings on Wooster Street, demolish the two existing buildings that front West Broadway and erect a new one in place of them.


Originally, approved designs for the project called for 24 condo units but DDG may adjust those plans slightly. Mr. McMillan said the project will be similar to DDG’s NoHo development at 41 Bond St., a 10-story luxury condo with seven units ranging in size from 3,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet that sold for an average of $2,500 per square foot.


A central courtyard/garden will connect the buildings that make up the new development, he said. The firm’s own design and architecture firm, DDG Design, will work in conjunction with Beyhan Karahan Architects & Associates, the project’s original architect.


“I am very pleased with the acquisition,” he said. “We did not just acquire land; Seven years of work was put into it.”


In 2005, ADG-Soho bought the property from Tootsie Roll Industries for $23 million. When ADG-Soho defaulted on its loan, Lehman foreclosed and partnered with a different developer, LCOR, to revise the plans. But Lehman, which had maintained the buildings and did some interior demolition, ultimately decided to sell the property.


The Tootsie Roll factory development is DDG’s latest project in the city. In July, the developer bought a troubled TriBeCa site at 12-14 Warren St. for $14.8 million, with plans to turn it into a luxury condo. It’s the developer’s second project on that street. Construction work at 12-14 Warren will start around the same time as work on the Tootsie Roll factory. Meanwhile, sales at its 37-unit condo in the meatpacking district at 345 W. 14th St., between Eighth and Ninth avenues, is expected to start this fall.