After a year with no sales, an Upper East Side condominium is hitting up a third marketing team, and slashing asking prices roughly 30 percent in an attempt to move units.
Two Prudential Douglas Elliman agents have signed on to represent the five-unit building, 1055 Park Avenue, which has failed to sell any of its units since sales launched in May 2009. Pricing at the project had been a source of contention since its inception, sources told The Real Deal, with previous marketing teams from Sotheby’s International Realty and the Marketing Directors butting heads with developer Trevor Davis over how to properly price the units.
Melanie Lazenby and Dina Lewis, both Elliman senior vice presidents, signed on to market the project “a couple weeks ago” according to Davis, whose property at 859-861 Lexington Avenue currently faces a $17 million foreclosure lawsuit from lender Ark Real Estate Partners.
Lazenby and Lewis’ arrival at the project coincides with an across-the-board price reduction on units, after an amendment outlining the cuts filed with the attorney general’s office June 28 was approved.
“Prices have been reduced approximately 30 percent from where they were,” Lazenby said of the building, which sits on the corner of 87th Street.
One 3,246-square-foot triplex unit saw its price slashed to $8.95 million from $14.5 million, while a 3,212-square-foot duplex had its asking price reduced to $7.5 million from $11.45 million, Lazenby said.
Representatives from the Marketing Directors, which was with the project from the start, up until Elliman’s takeover earlier this month, declined to comment, but sources said CEO Adrienne Albert and Susanne Day, a project manager, were involved in the project.
Sotheby’s agents Kate Meckler and Debra Pelt had also been involved in marketing the building early on, in conjunction with the Marketing Directors, but left after a “very, very short period of time,” Meckler said. Both Meckler and Pelt declined to comment on sales or pricing at the building.
But while sources say Davis was adamant about avoiding price cuts in the past, the developer said the recent price reductions were all his idea.
“There was never friction regarding pricing,” Davis said. “I made a decision that it would be good to lower the prices.”
Davis said that the decision to slash prices was unrelated to his fiscal woes at the Lexington Avenue property, at 65th Street. And, while Davis’ attorneys responded to the plaintiff’s amended complaint Friday, according to public records, Davis said he was unaware of the suit’s status in a phone call with The Real Deal one day earlier.
“There are no fiscal problems at 1055,” Davis said.
Davis said he brought on Lazenby and Lewis because of their experience as brokers. Both Lazenby and Lewis said they typically work as buyers’ brokers for those seeking new development units, something they think will be an asset when marketing 1055 Park.
“What we’ve done is help buyers buy other new development projects,” Lazenby said, counting Superior Ink and the Time Warner Center among the developments where her buyers have bought units. “We have a completely different way of selling property.”