Pair of Jane Street properties, primed for residential conversion, trades for $32M

Broker: A record-breaking per-square-foot price for buildings needing gut reno

TRD New York /
Aug.August 03, 2012 11:30 AM

Two West Village properties that could be converted into a Manhattan mega-mansion have traded together for $32 million, according to public records filed with the city today. The buildings traded for almost $2,700 per square foot, a record breaking price for a townhouse that requires a gut renovation, said listing broker Peter McCuen of Peter McCuen and Associates.

The transaction includes a two-story building at 85 Jane Street and a one story building at 89 Jane Street; together the properties total 12,000 square feet and span 110 feet in width. Originally the property was home to an ice cream factory and has been used as showroom and studio space for years, listing broker Peter McCuen of Peter McCuen and Associates, who worked with colleague Jim St. Andre on the deal, told The Real Deal.

The sellers of the property were Danta Raso and Ricard de La Rosa, the founders of ProPiano, a company which sells Steinway pianos to concert pianists. The pair transferred ownership of the two properties to LLCs in 2007. The buildings were one used as a showroom for nearby residential development Superior Ink, which is located at 400 West 12th Street. Raso and La Rosa had owned the two properties since 1985.

Although McCuen declined to comment on the identity of the buyer or the seller, both of whose names are hidden behind LLCs, he said that the buyer is likely to turn the property residential, given that they paid such a hefty price. It is extremely unlikely that a retail or commercial user would pay that price, given that the street is largely residential, he said.

The properties first came on the market in August 2010, priced at $35 million. There were also available separately. The property at 85 Jane Street was available for $25 million, while 89 Jane Street was listed for $15 million.

Mary Paris, founder of Triad Professional Services, a Georgia-based company which assists with corporate document preparation, appeared to have signed the deed on behalf of the buyer. She was not immediately available for comment. Robby Browne, a high-end broker at the Corcoran Group who represented the buyer, declined to comment on their identity.

The property has the potential for additional square footage, subject to approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, McCuen said. The buyer may also be able to build more than 8,000 square feet below grade allowing for rare amenities that could include a pool, gym, a wine cellar or parking.

There are remarkably few properties in the area that offer over 10,000 square feet of space, McCuen added. A search showed that there are only three residential properties currently available downtown totaling more than 10,000 square feet. They include a 23,100-square-foot townhouse at 144 Duane Street, asking $49.5 million, a 15,000-square-foot property at 11 Hubert Street, asking $15 million and an 11,000-square-foot home at 32 Orchard Street totaling 11,000 square feet.

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