The Real Deal New York

Park Columbus construction stops, sales office shutters

February 06, 2009 03:16PM
By Candace Taylor

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Construction has been temporarily halted and the on-site sales office closed at the Upper West Side condo conversion Park Columbus.

“We’ve taken sales off-site for a few months while the developer works out construction [issues],” said Stephen Kliegerman, the executive director of  development marketing at Halstead Property, which is exclusively handling sales at the building. Located at 101 West 87th Street at Columbus Avenue, the former rental building was built in the 1980s by the Related Companies and purchased by YL Real Estate Developers in 2005 for $42.5 million, according to city data.

Renovated units in the building, which start at $744,000 for an alcove studio, will have high-end finishes like oak plank floors and Poggenpohl cabinets. When completed, the building will have a private garden, a children’s playroom and a fitness center.

Construction is “about six months behind” and for the time being has stopped altogether due to lack of cash flow, Kliegerman said. “They have their financing together but the bank has been slow in releasing funds. Like every other bank, there are now many more loopholes you have to go through before they release money.”

The project’s lender, Arbor Realty Trust, did not respond to requests for comment.

Construction is slated to begin again in a month, Kliegerman said. But Halstead felt it was best to temporarily close the on-site sales office, which had been manned by a receptionist and two brokers. Instead, brokers are doing showings of the building by appointment only, he said.

“We felt like we should pare it down for a while,” he said, adding that closings will likely now be pushed back by four to six months due to the construction delays.

Halstead also has released an investor package for the building, which Kliegerman said has begun to generate some interest.

Roughly 20 percent of the building’s 80 units have sold since the units went on sale roughly a year ago, Kliegerman said. According to Streeteasy.com, the average asking price for available units in the building is $1,263 per square foot.

Yair Levy, founder of YL Developers, could not be reached for comment.

Construction has also been temporarily stopped at another one of Levy’s condo conversions, Rector Square at 225 Rector Place in Battery Park City. YL purchased both 225 Rector Place and 101 West 87th Street from Related in 2005.

Levy has also partnered with developer Kent Swig on troubled condo conversion Sheffield 57 at 322 West 57th Street.

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