be@schermerhorn relaunches sales, again

By Sarabeth Sanders | May 19, 2010 07:40PM

The Downtown Brooklyn condo slashes prices in wake of mortgage buy-out

A model unit at be@schermerhorn

A year-and-a-half behind schedule, Downtown Brooklyn’s long-awaited be@schermerhorn condominium is launching its third attempt at selling out the building, armed with slashed prices and a pithy tagline: “Good things come to those who wait.”

Units at the two-building complex, at 189 Schermerhorn Street, officially hit the market yesterday at an average of 26 percent off their original prices, Michael Phillips, marketing director at Jamestown Properties, told The Real Deal. As of today, five already have accepted offers, he said.

Jamestown, an asset acquisition and management firm with headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. and Germany, was an original equity partner in the building with developer SDS Procida. In September 2009, Jamestown upped the ante by buying out the mortgage on the stalled project and jolting things back into action.

Now, newly equipped with a temporary certificate of occupancy for the 28-unit south building and some of the floors in the 218-unit north building, the owners expect to complete construction by the end of July and are hoping to sell out within 30 months, Phillips said.

The Stephen B. Jacobs-designed project has endured a rocky road to get to this point of optimism.

At one point, the Corcoran Group, the building’s exclusive broker, had sold 18 percent of the building. But repeated construction delays forced the developers to let buyers out of their contracts — and all but four took them up on the offer, Phillips said.

“Other buildings stalled because they had poor sales. Early on, it was reported that we had poor sales… it wasn’t that we were unable to sell it, it was that we were going to be unable to complete the building,” Phillips said. “It became questionable whether [the lenders] were going to be able to continue to fund the process.”

Phillips declined to disclose the terms of the mortgage deal except to say that “it was a favorable reduction on the face value.”

Since the company is no longer in debt on the project, he said, it has the luxury of being patient with sales — and with passing its savings on the mortgage along to buyers.

Prices now begin at $265,000 for studios, $297,375 for one-bedrooms and $489,750 for two-bedrooms. Amenities include a fitness center, lounge, landscaped courtyard and roof deck with views of the New York Harbor and Manhattan skyline.

At the initial sales launch in September 2008, The Real Deal reported that 34 units hit the market for prices ranging from $345,000 to $1.1 million

“We reduced [prices] more than we would have” if not for the buyout deal, Phillips said, noting that some of the buyers who previously rescinded their contracts now have appointments to tour the relaunched building. Already, 30 showings are scheduled between now and next week, he said.