Lenz takes over sales at Apthorp

TRD New York /
Jul.July 30, 2009 05:16 PM

Superbroker Dolly Lenz has been tapped to oversee sales at the Apthorp as the project’s deadline to sell 25 units draws near.

The project’s owners, Africa Israel Investments and Mann Realty Associates, must sell roughly eight more apartments at the 163-unit Upper West Side condo conversion by September, the time frame set in the offering plan, in order for the condo plan to be declared effective.

Seventeen units have gone into contract so far at the building, according to Howard Lorber, the chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman, which is handling sales on the project. To sell the remaining units, the sponsors are “bringing out the big guns,” Lorber said.

Lenz, an Elliman vice chairman who reportedly sold more than $748 million in real estate in 2006 and was named the country’s top broker by the Wall Street Journal in 2007, will be overseeing the Apthorp sales office and supervising the staff, Lorber said.

The decision to bring Lenz in was the owners’, not Elliman’s, according to Lorber, who said the development team was familiar with Lenz’s work and asked her to come on board.

“I always told the sponsors that anyone in the company is available to help,” he said, adding that having Lenz’s participation is like “an insurance policy” to ensure the units get sold.

Lenz did not respond to a request for comment.

Previously, Howard Margolis, executive vice president and managing director at Prudential Douglas Elliman, headed up sales at the Apthorp.

Margolis told The Real Deal  he recently stopped running day-to-day sales at the project because “I wanted to go on to other projects.”

Other members of the sales team will continue to work at the Apthorp alongside Lenz, he said.

The Apthorp, built in 1908, spans a full city block from West End Avenue to Broadway and 78th to 79th streets.

Overseeing sales at the iconic building is a coup for Lenz as well, who has recently lost several high-profile developments to Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, including mega-projects Manhattan House and Miraval Living. Margolis is another Manhattan House alum.

Despite the recent setbacks, Lenz remains arguably the most famous real estate broker in Manhattan, thanks to appearances in Blackberry ads and as a TV real estate commentator. Recently, she made headlines by renting Rupert Murdoch’s estate on the North Fork of Long Island to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for more than $100,000 a month, New York Magazine reported.

After several rounds of price cuts, units at the Apthorp now start at $1.535 million after a bitter feud between the sponsors.

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