Unusual artist-developer partnership yields Tribeca condo

December 29, 2011 08:47AM

Clockwise from top left: Magnum Real Estate Group President Benjamin Shaoul, Arman (inset), a rendering of 482 Greenwich Street, and Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Leonard Steinberg
For all the unconventional partnerships in real estate, perhaps the most unlikely is an artist and a developer conspiring to build a nine-story condominium at the corner of Greenwich and Canal streets in Tribeca, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The lot at 482 Greenwich Street was owned by the artist Arman, who made a career out of critiquing consumerism by turning the every day items that comprised the city’s grit into an usual structures. Now, his wife has partnered with developer Magnum Real Estate Group to turn it into a luxurious nine-story, eight-unit, Karl Fischer-designed condo.

Arman purchased the land in the early 1980s along with a five-story loft building into which he moved, predating the artistic community’s shift from Soho. Real estate was not important to Arman, according to the Journal, but discarded items that lined the city’s streets were.

In 2004, Arman entered into talks with Red Brick Properties to build a condo that would prominently feature his sculpture in front. “Arman wasn’t interested in real estate. The only thing he cared about was his sculpture,” said David Slaven, a principal at Red Brick.

But after Arman’s death one year later and disputes stemming from the economic downturn, Red Brick backed out of the project. Recently, his wife struck a deal with Magnum, which is now moving forward with a nine-story, eight-unit, Karl Fischer-designed structure at the site — provided she get units in the building and two parking spaces. The building is named the Arman, and Arman’s wife calls it the perfect tribute to her husband, despite the contradiction of luxurious condos being named after a gritty street artist. Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Leonard Steinberg is marketing the units, which start at about $4 million for 2,500-square-foot, three-bedroom apartments. [WSJ]