The Real Deal New York

Gaia Real Estate: Billionaires aren’t wanted in our buildings

The company is targeting middle-market buyers willing to pay $500K to $2M

August 31, 2015 09:00AM

Gaia Real Estate’s Danny Fishman

Saudi, Chinese and Russian billionaires can look elsewhere — they’re not going to be courted at Gaia Real Estate’s residential buildings.

The firm, which has purchased several buildings this year, is focusing its activity on buying and renovating mid-market condo buildings, trying avoid the risks of the ground-up luxury development boom sweeping the city

“We are not looking for the Chinese billionaire to buy a penthouse,” Danny Fishman, managing partner at Gaia, told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re looking for someone who can buy a one-bedroom for under $1 million and a two-bedroom for $2.5 million. Our clients are empty nesters and New Yorkers.”

The company bought 416 West 52nd Street in Midtown from the Chetrit Group earlier this month for $156.5 million. The building was a coverted hotel that Chetrit planned to market as rentals. Gaia plans to upgrade the property’s amenities and sell it as condos, the same strategy the company is employing at two of its other buildings, the Montrose, at 308 East 38th Street in Murray Hill and the Corinthian at 330 East 38th Street.

Bold New York’s Jordan Sachs told the Journal that demand is strong from middle-market buyers, defined as those interested in paying $500,000 and $2 million for an apartment. [WSJ]Ariel Stulberg