Mercedes House rentals already 50% leased

May 13, 2011 04:26PM

For months, brokers have been describing the Manhattan luxury rental market as white-hot, and here’s further evidence: the 222-unit first phase of Two Trees Management’s new Mercedes House, which hit the market less than three weeks ago, is already 50 percent spoken for.

The 29-story building at 555 West 53rd Street, named after the 330,000-square-foot Mercedes-Benz showroom at its base, was designed by starchitect Enrique Norten and is priced from $2,200 per month.

Among the draws: floor-to-ceiling windows, views of the Hudson River, on-site parking and amenity menu that includes a health club, boxing ring, golf simulator, basketball and volleyball courts and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

“The response was immediate and overwhelming,” said Asher Abehsera, managing director of residential properties for Two Trees. That’s not entirely surprising, though, given that earlier this week, brokerage Citi Habitats reported that apartment vacancies have fallen to below 1 percent across Manhattan, and that rents have spiked across units of every size.

This is the first Manhattan development in 30 years for the Brooklyn-based development firm, which is run by father-and-son Dumbo kingpins David and Jed Walentas, and it will ultimately include upwards of 900 residential units, some of which will be condominiums.

The first phase is already ready for occupancy, but the project is slated to be finished in full by late 2012. TRD