The Real Deal New York

Once-stalled W’burg condo to hit the market this summer

April 15, 2011 07:10PM
By Sarabeth Sanders

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A stalled Williamsburg condominium that was reincarnated through a loan-to-own deal last year is back on track for completion and preparing to hit the market this summer. Unlike many of its back-from-the-dead peers, 170 North 5th Street is not going rental.

Instead, its new owners have decided to stick with the original developers’ plans, tapping the Corcoran Group’s Lior Barak and Christine Blackburn, of the high-grossing Barak/Blackburn Group, to sell off the 16 units as condos.

Sales are slated to launch in late June or early July, Blackburn said, and the building should be ready for occupancy by October.

The 17,000-square-foot building, two blocks from the L train’s Bedford Avenue stop and designed by RKT&B Architecture and Urban Design, was built — mostly — by Lucky Boy Development, which purchased the site for $2.6 million in 2005.

Lucky Boy had completed the majority of the project, which it had dubbed “the Williams,” by the time construction stalled in 2010. Last March, Urban American LLC bought the $7.5 million loan at a discount and moved to wrest control.

“We are going to finish construction on the building, and it will either be run as a rental or a for-sale project. We haven’t made that determination yet,” Douglas Eisenberg, COO for Urban American, told the Wall Street Journal after officially taking over from Lucky Boy earlier this year.

Blackburn said today that while prices have not yet been set, the building’s one- and two-bedroom units, as well as its garden duplexes, will be for sale come summertime.

Meanwhile, just yesterday her group feted the last closing at the 20-unit 5-15 Roebling Street condo nearby, no small feat considering it launched in mid-2010, after the fire sale at Warehouse 11 was already in full swing across the street.

After a brush with foreclosure the year before, the developers of the Karl Fischer-designed Warehouse 11 had aggressively slashed prices at their relaunch in January 2010, ultimately selling out the building for an average of around $554 per square foot, according to sales data from Streeteasy.com.

“It was difficult,” Blackburn said, “the appraisals were definitely influenced by [the fire sale prices] across the street.”
The building ultimately sold for an average of $635 per square foot, which Blackburn said was “amazing” considering the competition.

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