The most expensive new development in Manhattan in 2013 was the Zeckendorfs’ 18 Gramercy Park, where closed sales averaged more than $4,000 per square foot, according to a report from CityRealty provided exclusively to The Real Deal.
The “trifecta … of the opportunity to buy in that location, in a Robert A.M. Stern-designed building, from developers with a proven track record,” was what appealed to buyers at the 17-unit building on the exclusive park, said Jill Mangone, director of sales with Zeckendorf Marketing, who leads sales there.
Eighteen Gramercy still has two full-floor units available, and a maisonette featuring a private entrance will hit the market next week for $9.5 million, Mangone said. The building also set a record for the most expensive condo Downtown earlier this year, when a $42 million penthouse was sold to the owner of the Houston Rockets.
But the 2013 market was so frothy that many of the priciest newly constructed units sold last year could now go for as much as 50 percent more, said Pete Culliney, director of market analytics for CityRealty.
The report “is a snapshot of the recovery of the marketplace,” he said.
The report looked at the average price per square foot in closed sales at new construction buildings where more than 50 percent of the units closed in 2013. As a result, some superstars, like Walker Tower, were excluded.
Rounding out the list was a cadre of buildings that, like 18 Gramercy Park, are boutique projects, including the Abingdon, the Touraine and 111 Mercer Street.
“The biggest building [on the list] is 37 units,” Culliney said, noting that larger new developments that made a big marketing splash, like One Museum Mile, have not achieved the per-square-foot sales numbers of boutique buildings. Instead, buyers sought out large spaces in smaller buildings.
At the Abingdon, at 607 Hudson Street, in the West Village, where dethroned hedge funder Steven Cohen bought for $23 million last June, the average price per square foot was $2,888 last year, making it No. 2 on CityRealty’s list.
Meanwhile, Uptown, the Touraine, a luxury condo by Toll Brothers, at 132 East 65th Street, was the third most expensive, with an average cost of $2,320 per square foot. Lucky buyers there reportedly bought for near the ask – Toll Brothers has an ethical objection to bidding wars, according to a previous report from Curbed.
Perhaps overlooked 111 Mercer Street, in Soho between Spring and Prince streets, took the fourth spot. Developer Veracity got an average price per square foot of $2,172 on units closed this year, though the development hit the market about two years ago, according to published reports.
No. 5 on CityRealty’s list was DDG’s 345Meatpacking, which at 37 units was the largest building the firm ranked, Culliney noted. Average price there was $2,100, the data show.
Two Flatiron District projects took the sixth and eighth spots: Mitchell Holdings’ the Whitman, at 21 East 26th Street, got $1,963 per square foot, and 241 Fifth, from Victor Homes, sold, on average, for $1,838 per square foot. Sandwiched between the two at No. 7 was tiny 70 Greene Street, a four-unit Soho condo building developed by Valerio Morabito that bills itself as “an Uptown townhouse Downtown.”
The ninth and tenth spot went to 250 Bowery, by VE Equities, and Laight House, the 14-unit condo at 52 Laight Street in Tribeca. Those buildings commanded averages of $1,838 and $1,785 per square foot respectively, the report shows.
But does the fact that smaller buildings commanded the highest prices in 2013 bode well for the coming years, when massive towers like 432 Park Avenue will need to sell super luxe units en masse?
“The news is always, ‘this sold, that sold,’” said Culliney, saying he’ll believe the huge numbers predicted at some buildings when the deals close. Contracts and closing are very different, he said – only closed sales enter public record, for one.
“It’s not sold until the checks are in the bank,” he said.