The last time I was thinking about
before 2 months ago, it was preparing for construction- the part of the work that seems endless, producing nothing, as the crews create the foundation- I was across the street at 201 East 79th, an established cooperative building- Many owners there were more than a little concerned about what was going up in the lot across the street.
I myself was skeptical that it would be another all-glass, no excitement, addition to the neighborhood.
The argument between modernists and those who want neo-Pre-war will continue- but in truth, buyers today generally want it all, skewing towards the prewar, at least in building design and a few specific features:
-A sense of proportion, grace, volume, space- essentially, a rebellion from the boxes that were built from 1965-1999.
Of course we continue to see some boxy, lame units still being built today, but not at the high end.
Mostly in Brooklyn at this point.
Of course, where the buyer of today diverges in taste is about how living is different today.
Open Kitchens a difference, having additional amenities to feel like home, without feeling like a hotel.
The hotel amenities and hotel vibe are successful in some buildings, but likely not as common unless a special situation like One57.
Somehow, in the context of skepticism today’s buyer- “Show me the apartment, not a floorplan” – 200 East 79th has been successful in creating a good feeling and great sales despite having a sales office around the corner, not in the building (yet).
They are already half sold out of their large 4-bed units, with closings happening Mid-2013.
Finishes are lovely, with some stainless steel complements in the kitchen that are a nice, fresh look.
Baths are white and stone, kitchens have massive chef’s kitchen-like hoods, with pantries that seem in line with the storage needed from Costco visits.
What is astonishing isn’t the finish (very nice), the sales office (doing a great job of selling the finishes and location), the pricing (well-priced compared to much of what i’m seeing at $1500-2000 per square foot).
What shocks me is the interest level- so much, maybe too much of 2006-2008, except with a focus more at the high end.
Traffic was nearly around the block.
It feels like we’re trying to buy iPhones, not apartments.
getting an appointments to the sales office took a day of stalking.
I am reminded of trying to call into the pop radio station growing up, trying to request and dedicate Mr. Mister’s “Broken Wings” to an unrequited crush in late elementary early middle school.
But I digress.
You get the idea.
With these 60-80 count buildings, common charges remain pretty reasonable, attention will be pretty high, and with new development instead of conversion- the layouts are all skewed to the large, which is in major demand.
I’ll say, then, that I do see 200 East 79th being a home run very quickly, a la Toll Brothers Touraine on e 65th.
Enough for now.
We’ll check back in a few weeks with more.