Harlem co-op Beacon Towers offers ‘stimulus package’ to buyers

May.May 20, 2009 11:37 PM

The new co-op building Beacon Towers in Harlem is offering a “stimulus package” to buyers, giving them $300 every month for their first year living in the building.

“We saw how the government is trying to stimulate the economy on a national level, so we are trying to stimulate it on a local level,” said developer Frank Anelante, principal of Lemle & Wolff.

The incentive will be offered to buyers until July 5, but Anelante won’t be handing residents a $300 check every month; the developer said $300 will be deducted from residents’ monthly maintenance fees.

Anelante, who has been a developer in Harlem since 1981, said the goal of the incentive is to be sensitive to the economic climate, and to help local retailers around the co-op building, an eight-story building at 29 West 138th Street. Buyers will be given welcome packets with information about local stores — like dry cleaners and hardware stores — and restaurants in the area. Anelante hopes the Beacon Tower residents will spend the $300 left in their pockets at local businesses, but residents can use the money as they wish.

The 73-unit Beacon Tower has 19 market-rate apartments, and the rest are middle-income housing. Sales started in March, and between signed contracts and accepted offers, Anelante said the building is about 45 percent sold. Prices for the one- and two-bedroom units range from $282,000 to $749,000. Halstead Property is the exclusive sales agent for the project.

Anelante said that buyers who previously purchased units will be offered a comparable incentive, but not the $300 a month.

Roberta Axelrod, director of residential sales and rentals at Times Equities, who is not involved in marketing the building, said that the $300 incentive alone isn’t enough to convince someone to buy in the development, but it could help win over buyers already interested in the building.

“If you’re debating between two apartments that are comparable and concerned about cash outlay in the first year, [the incentive] might help ease the transition for a new purchaser,” Axelrod said. “If you are interested but on the fence, you might say to yourself, ‘I better [buy the apartment] now rather than next month when I won’t get that benefit.'”

Many developers are offering incentives to draw buyers, like paying common charges, broker fees, closing costs and coupons for free transfer taxes. Anelante said he chose the $300 incentive over typical concessions because those will likely be negotiated on a deal-by-deal basis anyway, and wanted to do something “not only for our purchasers, but for the community at large.”

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