The Real Deal New York

GTIS aims for $126M sellout at condos near Museum of Natural History

Sponsor took over for embattled Newcastle Realty Services last year

February 11, 2016 06:27PM
By Katherine Clarke

Tom Shapiro and a rendering of 101 West 78th Street

Tom Shapiro and a rendering of 101 West 78th Street

The developer of a long-anticipated condominium conversion across the street from the American Museum of Natural History is aiming for a sellout of $125.6 million, or about $4.5 million per apartment.

GTIS Partners, the sponsor who took over the project from controversial developer Newcastle Realty Services last May, is slated to bring 28 new homes to the market at the property at 101 West 78th Street. The units will range from one- to four-bedrooms, in addition to a penthouse, according to an offering plan approved this week by the attorney general. Amenities will include a gym and a children’s play area.

Sales are slated to commence this spring. Brown Harris Stevens’ new development marketing arm will head up marketing efforts.

Newcastle, led by embattled CEO Margaret Streicker Porres, was initially slated to develop the project after buying the 70,000-square-foot building for $85 million in 2012. But the firm was forced to pause construction early last year when the attorney general launched an investigation into allegations that the company had forced rent-regulated tenants out of the building without offering them the option to buy their units.

GTIS, founded by Tishman Speyer alum Tom Shapiro, was formerly an equity investor in the project but bought Newcastle’s stake in the building in June 2015, after a settlement with the attorney general had been reached. The firm was was not involved in the illegal evictions, Shapiro said.

Shapiro said he’s confident that there will be strong demand for the units, despite uncertainty in the luxury end of the condo market.

“If you think about the high-end condo market, there’s way too much product in Midtown,” he said. “But that’s an investor, offshore market very different [from] the Upper West Side. What we have is a very bespoke product that really caters to New York buyers.”

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