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Cheskie Weisz Buys Brooklyn Artist Haven For $14M, Plans Rental Conversion


For 32 years, the apartment building on 35 Claver Place in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn served as a special work-live studio for local artists. But not anymore.

Marcus and Millichap brokered the sale of the 35K SF building, which has 13 residential and two commercial units, for $14.2M to Cheskie Weisz's CW Realty. Although TerraCRG partner Dan Marks said the building is in an area known as a popular condo market, Weisz plans to redevelop the building as a rental, according to Marcus and Millichap.

The sale not only marks the end of an era for the building, starting when owners Anthony Chamberlin and Gina Inverso created the artists' space out of a former warehouse in 1985, it also marks the point in the seemingly all-too-familiar cycle when artists leave an area after the gentrification process they help start drives up real estate prices beyond what they can afford.

Artists who lived in the building said the property transformed the neighborhood from a place known for the sale of crack into the desirable neighborhood it has become.

"Sunset Park and Bushwick have large industrial buildings, and those are probably the last places for artists to go. Ridgewood is now all houses," said a creative producer and product designer who lived on the fourth floor of the building, Teresa Herrmann. "Art is a difficult field when you also need business training. That is what you need to be successful; and a cultural following."

The building regularly hosted expositions, music events and open houses showcasing resident work.

Weisz is acquiring the building with all tenant leases expired. He is an active developer in the Brooklyn market, having recently purchased two North Williamsburg development sites. Neither he nor seller Gina Inverso returned calls seeking comment.