Developers William and Arthur Zeckendorf welcomed brokers to 18 Gramercy Park last night for the official unveiling of their 16-unit luxury condominium conversion overlooking the fabled garden.
With about half of the 16 units under contract – including the $42 million penthouse reportedly promised to Leslie Alexander, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets – William Zeckendorf said he expected to sell the remaining apartments at a pace of about one per month.
Several brokers could be overheard lamenting the scarcity of available units, which range in price from $14.7 million to $18.8 million. In fact, the model apartment itself, last listed at $15.5 million, is under contract. (Although one hopes that the clothes hanging in the closet and the pasta sauce in the kitchen are the work of overzealous stagers, and not overeager buyers.)
But the assembled brokers were content to sip Veuve Clicquot and white wine (no red to be found) and sample the h’ors d’oeuvres provided by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events. A particular favorite was the autumnal-colored root vegetable chips, which looked suspiciously like potpourri.
Guests included Hall Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens, and Stephen Kliegerman, president of development marketing at Halstead Property. (Both brokerages are owned by the Zeckendorfs’ Terra Holdings.)
Jill Mangone, the building’s director of sales, was on hand to give tours of an unfinished four-bedroom on the eighth floor, which boasts larger windows and a clear view of the Chrysler building. (The unit is not on the market yet, but an apartment two floors down is currently listed for about $15.9 million.)
The Zeckendorfs had to get special permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to enlarge the windows, since the building, a former Salvation Army women’s residence, is landmarked. But an unintended upside was that they were able to use the extra coal-fired bricks in other parts of the project, maintaining a uniform patina across the exterior, Mangone explained.
Zeckendorf also noted how the team splurged on sleeker, more sanitary European toilets, which he said are quickly becoming de rigueur at high-end developments, despite the extra installation cost.
Along with a key to Gramercy Park, the building boasts a gym and rooftop terrace – and, yes, the elevator attendant was wearing white gloves.