Swig sells UWS rental buildings

By David Jones | July 03, 2008 01:12PM

Developer Kent Swig has sold a 134-unit rental complex on the Upper West Side for $61 million, more than a year after failing to build condos atop the two tenement buildings at 201 West 92nd Street.

Eastern Consolidated was hired in November 2007 to find a buyer for the buildings, but they sold for less than their $72 million price tag, according to city records.

Despite Swig’s decision to abandon a conversion there, Eastern Consolidated marketed the building as a potential condominium, as the 125,000 square feet of unused air rights would allow seven additional stories of condo development. But the condo market has slowed down significantly, and the buyer, Adorama Inc. affiliate 92nd Street Equities, apparently intends to operate the buildings as rental properties.

“To my knowledge they will continue to operate it as a rental building,” said Steven Holm, attorney for the buyer. “Over the last 12 months the market in New York has changed.”

Swig was not immediately available for comment.

After buying the property for $54 million in 2005, the Department of Buildings granted permission for Swig to build a nine-story condominium atop the two six-story pre-war buildings. However, the deal created a firestorm among tenants, politicians and community activists, who forced the city to withdraw the approval and demanded changes for any new deal.

The property, built in 1922, has 68 one-bedroom units, 56 two-bedrooms and 10 three bedrooms. Swig initially listed it with brokerage Massey Knakal for $90 million last year.

The sale is one of several recent setbacks for Swig, who is being sued by tenants at the Sheffield57, who are demanding the city take over the converted condominium because of alleged harassment and maintenance problems.

Meanwhile, the condo conversion plan at 25 Broad Street was placed into question last month after the plan stalled and prospective buyers were forced to shack up in a luxury hotel after Swig failed to delivery the minimum number of buyers.

The news follows Extell’s $44 million sale of a six-story pre-war building on the Upper West Side that it had planned to convert to condos.