The Real Deal New York

JP Forbes leaves Alchemy amid rumblings of slow sales at Woolworth Building

Corcoran Sunshine vet jumps to Extell

November 17, 2015 08:00AM
By Katherine Clarke

The Woolworth Building, JP Forbes and Alchemy's Kenneth Horn

The Woolworth Building, JP Forbes and Alchemy’s Kenneth Horn

Alchemy Properties has lost one of its top sales executives at a crucial time for its most important project.

JP Forbes, the veteran new development sales expert tapped last year to condominium sales at Alchemy’s Woolworth Building condominium conversion, has left the company amid speculation that sales at the project are sluggish, sources said. 

Forbes, a former Corcoran Sunshine broker, is now at Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, where he is working on sales at 70 Charlton Street in Hudson Square and will work on a new condo project at 1681 Third Avenue.

Alchemy confirmed that Forbes, who is married to Kleier Residential’s Samantha Kleier, was off the project, saying it would continue to handle sales in-house. The company declined to comment on how many units had been sold at the building.

For Forbes, who previously marketed the Brodsky Organization’s 135 East 79th Street and the Mark at 25 East 77th Street, the Woolworth was the assignment of a lifetime.

It’s “as if people could buy apartments in the Chrysler Building — it just doesn’t happen,” he told The Real Deal last year.

In 2012, Alchemy paid Steven Witkoff and Rubin Schron $68 million to buy the top 30 floors of the historic building, at 233 Broadway, and has poured many more millions into converting the floors into high-end homes. Alchemy CEO Ken Horn said that the cost of the restoration turned out to be significantly higher than even he expected.

Prices for the units start at $3.5 million for a 1,200-square-foot pad on the 44th floor, with the penthouse slated to ask a record-breaking $110 million.

Developers continue to price ambitiously Downtown, but sales haven’t quite matched expectations. A TRD analysis earlier this year found that as of September, not a single contract above $20 million had been signed below Canal Street this year .