The Real Deal New York

The Hit Factory finally sells out

By Sarabeth Sanders | June 29, 2011 06:51PM

The Hit Factory, images from inside Penthouse D, and Carmelo Anthony, who is renting the penthouse next door

Melo’s got a new neighbor.

The developers of the Hit Factory, the legendary West 50s recording studio-turned-condominium where New York Knicks forward Carmelo “Melo” Anthony is renting a $16,500-a-month penthouse this year, have finally sold off the last of their 27 units at the building, four years after bringing it to the market.

That 27th sponsor apartment, Penthouse D, closed last week for $3.35 million, according to Frederico Ziotto, a broker at Columbus NY Real Estate who represented the buyer: a local wholesale retailer and, as good luck would have it, a Knicks fan.

The Hit Factory is no stranger to celebrity. The seven-story building, at 421 West 54th Street, has several claims to fame as the studio where the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel and Madonna (and the list goes on) have all laid down tracks. The studio shut down in 2005, and a joint venture of Arizona-based Sagamore Capital and Stamford, Conn.-based Core Plus Properties converted it and launched it as condos two years later.

The vast majority of their loft-style apartments were snapped up quickly, including five of six penthouse duplexes, of which Anthony’s current penthouse — which formerly housed comedian Tracy Morgan — is one (it was sold in 2008 for just over $4.4 million). But the other penthouse, the one next door to Anthony’s that sold last week, languished.

The developers originally wanted $4.35 million for the 3,300-square-foot spread, which has three bedrooms, a home office, and a private 1,455-square-foot terrace, but, Ziotto said, views that are not quite as nice as the basketball star’s. The developers ultimately cut the asking price to $3.75 million before Ziotto’s client, who had initially considered renting the penthouse next door while Morgan still lived there, stepped up to buy it.

“That’s what Barbara Corcoran [founder of the Corcoran Group] says: ‘when you overprice an apartment, you end up selling for less… than it’s really worth,’” Ziotto said. “One of the questions the buyers [had was], ‘how come this apartment never sold?’ And my explanation to them was, ‘look, when you overprice an apartment, you end up losing money.'”


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