The Real Deal New York

W’burg rental conversion leases up in five weeks

May 30, 2012 06:20PM

Just five weeks after the units hit the rental market, Williamsburg’s Jardin building is fully leased, according to its marketing team. When the last lease was signed late last week, it marked the end of the latest chapter in a long and troubled history for the 44-unit building at 142 North 6th Street.

The building first hit the market as a condominium in 2008 under Prudential Douglas Elliman, and 39 units entered contract, before financial difficulties forced the property off the market. Last summer, with the building finally near completion, the units re-entered the sales market under and was 60 percent sold at an average of about $780 per square-foot, according to the brokerage’s president, David Maundrell. (Buyers’ deposits, plus interest, were returned, according to previous reports.)

But in January, developer Read Property Group decided to reverse course and convert the building to rentals. Finally, in mid-April, the units hit the market for a third time. Maundrell said the units leased so quickly, at an average price of more than $54 per square-foot, because they were planned as condos and built larger. “No one builds rentals this size,” he said.

Two-bedroom apartments average approximately 1,150 square feet, one-bedroom apartments hover between 700 and 950 square feet, and some studios contain as many as 941 square feet spread across two floors. The building also has a common roof deck, a landscaped garden and a gym.

“We tapped into the marketplace of people who would love to buy, but because of job situations, economic circumstances, and difficulty in getting loans were not ready to do so,” Maundrell said.

But Maundrell said that more people are beginning to get their financial situations in order and build stable job histories, so the condominium market is on the verge of booming. “There’s just a shortage of inventory,” he said. — Adam Fusfeld