As I expected, I was able to see a few new developments this past month, and review them I shall.
These buildings might be considered the “bread and butter” type of properties that are sorely lacking in the marketplace.
They have been incredibly successful to date.
Apart from 22 Renwick, what they share is that presentationally a buyer is looking at floorplans and images in a sales office rather than in the building itself.
The migration back to “selling off a floorplan” is arguably complete.
One could have easily thought the day would never come, given the excesses of the last housing cycle.
But I’ll cover that in a separate post.
For now, let’s focus on some new properties.
We’ll start with 160 East 22nd Street.
Toll Brothers has been busy building this development and others across town.
Many Upper East Siders are furious with an upcoming project at 1108-1110 Park Avenue.
But that’s for another post.
In reviewing 160 East 22nd, I am struck by the sales office, located (smartly) on 22nd between Park Avenue South and Broadway (one of my favorite blocks), features but a smattering of the finishes, renderings of the building, and some sense of what a buyer would be looking, not from a particular elevation, mind you.
My customers whom I brought in were hoping to get a better feeling of the space and were left with a sterile sales office.
For a savvy investor or her broker who understands what the rents will be on a purchase like this, the investment can be made from a sales office.
From my visit, a Northeast- or Northwest-facing unit with either open 3rd avenue views, or Western views of the city provides an interesting opportunity.
At $2000 per square foot for a high floor property- 1000 square feet for $2 million- This may not ultimately ring everyone’s bell.
There is a good deal of development in motion to the East- and if one is confident about the prospects of 23rd street and its improvement, this could be a downtown purchase.
Ultimately, with 20% down, a two-bedroom purchase here would cost a buyer about $4500-5000 to carry, which is, shockingly, about $2000 per month less than what the comparable rental would be.
Which is why the building is nearly 50% sold out already.
Cue jaw drop now.
In terms of finishes, and this goes for all three which I’m reviewing here- I cannot say that I recall anything in particular.
Certainly my focus is on what separates one property from another for you to digest- The design features clean lines, attractive stone baths, modern kitchens, and nothing to scare anyone away.
At the same time, for $2000 per square foot, there is very little that makes the look go beyond the new.
In 2004-2008, much of what was put into new development would be a stainless steel appliance package, granite countertops, some version of hardwood flooring- not usually engineered floors, but real hardwood- and 9′ ceilings.
The ceiling height has remained nine feet at a minium, but engineered flooring has become very popular, along with a Caesarstone-type kitchen counter.
The kitchen package varies wildly, and I don’t see the 160 East 22nd package as being anything but innocuous.
So, we’ll move on.
I haven’t ever given a grade a development, and I won’t here- I can completely understand why many buyers are attracted to this- light and location being at the top of that list.
One Morningside Park
I can hardly contain myself about this project.
Part of the reason is that I live nearby and have watched its progress from the demolition of the old building to today.
I run by the site on 110th Street and Manhattan Avenue every time I go for my morning run in Central Park.
The building, which will top out at 22nd stories, is already about 7 stories built as of last week, and offers a rare opportunity to be at the gateway to South Harlem, while standing firmly at the top of the Upper West Side, as many are now defining it.
Yes, it may technically be Morningside Heights, but with smartly laid out three bedroom units, only 66 apartments, and stellar views of Morningside Park, Central Park, and all of Harlem to the North, this purchase is about being at a crossroads of what is already great about the area, and what is quickly becoming so.
Most of the two-bedroom units and larger have terraces.
Most have terrific views- the developer, who has done a number of projects in the area including 5th on the Park- has valued the Western views over Morningside Park as more special than the Central Park views- which are not as open as the former.
Really, once a unit is part of the building which cantilevers over the neighboring 250 Manhattan Avenue, the views are worthwhile.
The finishes are nice, with windowed baths and kitchens bringing in lots of light, and the terraces are a lovely feature.
Pricing begins for one bedrooms in the $1100-1200 per square foot range, with larger units starting in the $1300 per square foot range.
I must say that given the utter lack of good condominiums in the area, even in Harlem, being less than a block from the B/C subway, across the street from a nice grocery store, the Morningside Park farmers’ market, and two parks- this building will certainly be a home run.
Sales haven’t officially begun, but I’m a raving fan- and would encourage anyone considering an investment uptown to come (with me) and give it a look.
Scooting down to SoHo, this formerly stalled condo project from 2008 is back with a vengeance.
Another development representing by my firm, and the standout broker Shlomi Reuveni, this project is all about location.
Efficient two bedroom units without special views, around the corner from Hudson Square, this building offers location, and in my view, value.
To get a SoHo property for $1500 per square foot in this market where one can rent it out for $7000 per month or more is a value.
The finishes are lovely, the building is nestled between bustling Canal and Spring- but is very quiet right here.
Across the street, another West SoHo building rises, which will complete the block.
As the high-technology industry continues its march into commercial space around the corner, along with a well-located subway stop, this development is sure to be a big success this go-round.
Owners and renters will love being two blocks from the West Side Highway and all of its recreational space, while still being very close to everything SoHo and Tribeca offers.
Warning- this is really not for “view buyers.”
However, very little in SoHo and Tribeca offers killer views- which is why properties like 56 Leonard are over 70% sold in three months.
If you’re all the way here reading, I thank you very much for taking the time!
I’ll likely get more reviewing done this month before development launches take a break for the summer.