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Developer’s bet on huge $35M penthouse pays off

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From Crains New York

Developers bet on huge $35M penthouse pays off

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A bet by Manhattan-based developer Witkoff on a slowing segment of the market has paid off: After the firm combined floor plans for two apartments at 10 Madison Square West into a single penthouse last year, it announced Friday that the unit recently went into contract for $35 million, about 21% more than what it would have gone for if they were sold separately.

The firm, led by Steven Witkoff, snapped up 10 Madison Square, the former Toy Building, in a 2011 auction for $190 million. And with plans to gut the tower and construct a six-story addition to the top of the property, which overlooks Madison Square Park, the developer sold 75% of the units within three months after they hit the market. However, a handful of apartments, including two on the 22nd floor, were more difficult to unload.

“As two separate units, they were tougher to sell,” said Kirk Rundhaug of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, which handles sales at the building, noting that 22A was not the best-flowing apartment and 22B was listed for a high price per square foot.

But Elliman and Witkoff decided to redraw floor plans for a 6,500-square-foot, full-floor, five-bedroom apartment instead, after seeing a need in the market for larger homes. But in some ways, the move was still a risky one. An influx of newly built or renovated ultraluxury apartments are hitting the market, and the more expensive units have been selling at a slower pace.

Manhattan’s absorption rate—the amount of time it would take to sell all the apartments on the market—increased by more than 40% for luxury units between the first quarter of 2014 and this year, according to a recent market report from Elliman, which identified luxury units as anything north of $3.35 million.

“There are still a lot of buyers, but they are saying, ‘I have more choices now,’” Mr. Rundhaug said.

Modifying unit size to adjust for market conditions is a common tool for condo developers. For example, the developers of 432 Park decided last summer to go small and convert plans for two units on the 34th floor into 14 studio apartments instead, according to documents from the state attorney general’s office. In the case of 10 Madison Square West, creating a larger apartment by melding two units paid off for Witkoff. Now that the 22nd-floor penthouse is in contract, there is only one apartment still for sale.

“We are thrilled that there has been such strong demand,” Lauren Witkoff, a senior vice president at the firm, said in a statement.

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Alloy’s Plymouth Street Lofts Almost Sold Out Already

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Image by: Hanart

From Curbed NY:

Alloy’s Plymouth Street Lofts Almost Sold Out

Alloy won the Landmarks Commission’s very enthusiastic approval for Dumbo’s first townhouses earlier this month, and now there’s more good news for the development/design team: another of their projects, ten enormous loftsat 185 Plymouth Street, are already 80 percent sold less than a week after they were approved for sale, without ever even being listed publicly. Alloy tells us that they actually received offers on all ten of the units, but decided to hold off on selling the two penthouses, which are now asking $3.4 million (#PHN) and $3.95 million (#PHS). Floorplans (and some cool before pics) are available on the building’s brand new website.

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Most Expensive Condo Unit at One Fulton Square About to Close

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Image by Hanart

One Fulton Sq

 

From Brownstoner Queens:

Most Expensive Condo Unit at One Fulton Square About to Close

The developers at One Fulton Square, the new Flushing condo development, will close this week on their biggest deal yet. Queens Courier reports that a buyer just snatched up a three-bedroom penthouse apartment for $2,053,000. The unit is a total of 2,033 square feet and boasts a wraparound terrace of close to 1,100 square feet. (The photo above is of a similar model unit.)

No word on who the buyer is. Last summer when the project was still fully under construction, thedevelopment was nearly 50 percent spoken for due to the influx of Chinese buyers to the area. Here’s a rendering for the next phase of the development, Two Fulton Square.

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