Witkoff’s 10 Madison Square West has nearly 60 percent of units in contract

July 22, 2013 09:00AM

Under a month after the Witkoff Group’s condominium conversion project at 10 Madison Square West launched sales, nearly 60 percent of its 125 units are already in contract, illustrating the frenzied demand for high-end residential properties, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“If you get lucky, a market makes you look smarter than you are,” developer Steven Witkoff told the Journal. Though Witkoff expected strong sales, the demand has well surpassed his expectations when he bought the property in 2011, he added.

Witkoff paid $191 million in 2011 to Lehman Brothers Holdings for the then-distressed 16-story property, formerly a marketplace for the toy industry. The developer beat out rival bids from L & L Holding as well as SL Green Realty, who were eyeing the property for commercial use, according to the Journal.

Though overall Manhattan apartment prices are still well below boom-time levels — $1,149 per square foot compared to $1,322 per square foot in the second quarter of 2008 – some high-end apartments at trophy buildings such as Gary Barnett’s One57 and Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue are commanding prices of well over $5,000 per square foot, according to Miller Samuel data seen by the Journal.

Another Witkoff project at 150 Charles Street has found buyers for all its 91 units after sales launched in February, with prices inching north of $3,000 per square foot. [WSJ]  – Hiten Samtani