UPDATED: Aug. 2, 7:10 p.m.: For the fifth consecutive quarterly earnings call, Vornado Realty Trust’s CEO Steve Roth declined to give an update on sales figures at 220 Central Park South.
“220 Central Park South is a very public project so everything that I say gets into the newspapers and whatever so we don’t have a lot to say about [it],” Roth said Tuesday morning.
Vornado is reportedly spending $1.3 billion constructing the Midtown condo tower, while a slowdown in high-end sales across Manhattan has raised broader concerns about the financial feasibility of luxury development. Vornado last gave a public update on sales in May 2015, when it said one-third of the tower’s condos had sold for a combined $1.1 billion.
Roth acknowledged a slowdown in sales earlier in the year, but claimed it ended a few months ago. Sales are going “fabulously well” and exceeding Vornado’s expectations, he said. “There has never been a project in New York that sold as well.”
“The project is heavily skewed towards New Yorkers and Americans,” Roth added. The Real Deal recently reported that Vornado has an unusually thorough screening process for buyers at the project, which includes Roth personally interviewing prospective owners.
Prices at the building range from just under $5,000 per square foot to over $10,000 a foot. It’s the firm’s first residential development project since One Beacon Court in 2004.
Roth also voiced cautious tones on the retail market. “Rents in Manhattan have gotten too high, so our job is to be realistic,” he said, adding that leases are “difficult to close because retailers are concerned about their own business models and less concerned about expansion.”
Correction: an earlier version of this post incorrectly claimed that the tower’s total projected cost is $3 billion.