Azure gets AG’s green light

By Sarabeth Sanders | June 10, 2010 08:45PM

Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Ilan Bracha and Azure

The Upper East Side luxury cond-op that was the site of a deadly crane collapse in May 2008 has been officially declared effective by the state attorney general, according to an e-mail from the developer obtained by The Real Deal.

The approval comes two years and one marketing change-up after the initial launch of Azure, which is located at 333 East 91st Street and is a joint venture between the Mattone Group and the DeMatteis Organizations.

The 128-unit, 34-story co-op with condominium by-laws was the site of one of the city’s two fatal crane collapses that year. The collapse at Azure killed two construction workers and forced a shutdown at the site.

Sales resumed two weeks later, but construction delays plagued the development going forward, and by the time the project topped off in January 2009, sales had ground to a halt. As of earlier this year, Brown Harris Stevens’ 17 signed contracts had evaporated to just nine.

The Attorney General’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the Mattone Group declined to comment, and representatives from the DeMatteis Organizations were not immediately available. Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Ilan Bracha, whose Bracha Group took over sales and marketing from Brown Harris Stevens’ Nancy Packes in March, was also unavailable.

While the exact number of signed contracts at Azure was not immediately clear, the attorney general’s office requires that at least 15 percent of a building’s residences be sold for the plan to be declared effective, clearing the way for closings and move-ins to begin.

Azure’s website boasts 19 signed contracts in the month of April alone, though it was also unclear whether any part of the sales uptick could be attributed to bulk sales.

Bracha’s takeover of the SLCE Architects-designed building came with price cuts of up to 24 percent on some units and the promise of 4 percent commissions for outside brokers. Prices now range from $520,000 for a studio to $5.87 million for a four-bedroom penthouse. All residences have floor-to-ceiling windows and access to Amenities Including A Roof Terrace, 24-hour concierge, valet, fitness center and children’s playroom.

“Our approach is more aggressive,” Bracha told The Real Deal in March, noting that his group has a strong following amongst international buyers that he planned to draw upon for sales.