Commercial condo fetches high price of $1,000 per square foot

By Adam Pincus | December 12, 2008 05:54PM

Despite the economic downturn, a 1,635-square-foot, seventh-floor office condominium in the Bar Building in Midtown sold for a premium price of $1,000 per square foot.

The condo sale at 36 West 44th Street for $1.635 million by TGG Holdings to Solari Real Estate was finalized November 20 after going into contract in August, according to recently published city property records.

Gregg Roberts, a partner in TGG Holdings and president of brokerage CitySites Commercial Group, said the low supply of commercial condos kept the prices relatively high.

In 2007 and 2008 there were a number of full office buildings with sales prices above $1,000 per square foot, including the General Motors Building which sold in June 2008 for $1,466 per square foot. However since the credit crunch began in earnest in July, it appears that no buildings have traded at such a level.

“The time came to expand and New York was the place they wanted to be,” said Anthony Romito, New York area manager for Italy-based Solari Corporation, which is affiliated with Solari Real Estate. He said he was not authorized to speak about the price paid for the condo.

A notable recent large transaction, the purchase by New York University of 726 Broadway for $210 million, was for much less than the 44th Street buy, at $600 per square foot.

TGG Holdings bought the seventh floor in May 2007 for $6 million, and then subdivided it into individual units, property records show. Solari will be in one unit in the front of the building facing the Harvard Club.

Ivan Hakimian, an associate broker at IPRealty, said the $1,000 per square foot price would be high even in a good market.

“That is a pretty good number,” he said.

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