Mann Report — Mann Report April 2013
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Jody Kriss

East River Partners LLC

Young Developers On The Move In Brooklyn And Manhattan

In 2010 Jody Kriss and his partner Joseph Cohen made a bold decision to be bullish on the condo market. It was a decision that has paid off.

Together they started East River Partners, (ERP) a New York based company that acquires and develops residential properties in desirable neighborhoods primarily in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Today the dynamic and growing company is expanding its footprint, going full force with six condominium and rental projects underway in New York City.

"This is a very exciting time to be a real estate developer," said Kriss, who along with Cohen, saw a perfect opportunity to purchase and renovate existing rental buildings, mainly in Brooklyn – neighborhoods like Park Slope and Carroll Gardens that are fast turning into primary markets.

The firm's target is mid-sized residential projects including condo conversions, value-add rental deals, converting commercial buildings to residential, new ground-up construction and recapitalization of incomplete projects. They have completed projects in New York City that include gut renovations, tower construction, historic adaptive re-use and site assemblage. "All our projects meet a price point, design and level of finish that is attuned to buyers' or renters' needs," said Kriss. "The reduced condo supply is occurring now when interest rates are at all time lows and homeownership is affordable and attractive relative to soaring rents."

Today ERP's focus is on buyer and renter demand for larger apartments. "More young families want to stay in the city and we build where they want to live – in family neighborhoods with top-rated public and private schools," added Kriss. "We look at floor plans with inch-by-inch level of attention to detail to craft apartments that are geared toward this emerging demographic."

ERP's first project sold out quickly at 397 First Street in Park Slope, a condo conversion of a historic apartment building into seven, two-bedroom homes renovated to meld prewar elegance with contemporary style. They are now working on a several others, including 364 Union Street in Carroll Gardens and 371 Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, slated to come on the market this spring featuring two- and three-bedroom apartments and expansive garden duplexes.

To help finance the projects ERP set up a fully discretionary fund ERP Fund I. The first fund provided enough for ERP to invest $75 million in new deals. "The fund allows us to be nimble and aggressive in acquiring new properties," added Kriss. "We look forward to a busy 2013 deploying this capital."

Kriss brings exemplary finance skills to the table, having worked in investment banking and successfully participating in capital raises for several large projects valued in the hundreds of millions in New York, Florida and Arizona.

Before starting ERP, Kriss co-founded the Bayrock Group where he developed Trump Soho, a 400-room luxury hotel in Manhattan and a 300-room five-star beachfront hotel in South Florida. He started his career at the Athena Group where he managed the development of 838 Fifth Avenue, a condominium in Manhattan that reached $2,000 per square foot in sales in 1998. Kriss has a bachelor's degree in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Kriss and Cohen are gearing up for ERP's next and largest project: a residential renovation of three adjacent buildings on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where both Kriss and Cohen live. "This is all a natural evolution for ERP's expanding platform," said Kriss

Jody Kriss
Co-Managing Member
East River Partners LLC
20 West 20th Street, Suite 233
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 212-769-8965