UWS apartment project shifts gears, again

By Adam Pincus | December 01, 2011 12:36PM

The developer of a high-end, 9-unit building on the Upper West Side has abandoned plans to sell the units individually as condominiums and instead is offering to sell the entire property in one transaction, with an asking price of $22.8 million.

Brooklyn-based Manor Properties Group constructed the new, 10-story building at 208 West 96th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, and was given its certificate of occupancy in April.

But attempts by Halstead Property Development Marketing to sell the units as condominiums with prices according to Streeteasy.com of about $2.3 million each, failed. Then Manor Properties tried renting the apartments, which are all full-floor, three-bedroom units.

Now, Manor Properties has tapped commercial brokerage Eastern Consolidated to sell the entire 19,821-square-foot building, asking about $1,150 per square foot. Manor Properties declined to comment.

In addition to the apartments, the property has a 2,433-square-foot retail unit on the ground floor, leased to H&R Block for about $100 per square foot. The lease expires in 2016 with a five-year option.

Broker David Schechtman, senior director at Eastern Consolidated, said by selling the building to one user — such as a foreign government’s consulate or a group of connected buyers — Manor Properties can get a better price than by selling individual condominium units.

“We believe there is a premium in being able to deliver a building that can be reconfigured,” to the specific personality of a buyer.

One outsider said selling an entire building is one option developers are choosing after condominium sales don’t pan out, although most are just trying to hold on by renting

“It’s clearly not the plan going in,” said Eric Zipkowitz, a real estate partner at law firm Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, who was not involved with the project. “It’s the fallback, the last resort, the exit strategy.”