Starrett files for $232M UWS condo conversion

TRD New York /
Aug.August 21, 2013 11:52 AM

A company with ties to the Midtown-based Starrett Corporation is converting a 28-story rental building on the Upper West Side into a condominium with a sell-out price of $231.5 million.

Axton Owner LLC, a Starrett affiliate, filed plans with the state Aug. 15 to convert the high-rise at 733 Amsterdam Avenue — known as the Axton — into 229 condo apartments and three commercial units. The building now has 229 rental units.

The filing with the New York State Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance office, which reviews and regulates condo and cooperative conversions and developments, identifies the project as the 175 West 95th Condominium.

The Axton was a former Mitchell-Lama building constructed in 1971, and a significant number of units are rent-regulated, City Council member Gale Brewer told The Real Deal.

“I am concerned. It is a real loss off affordable housing and rental units,” Brewer said, adding that she believes condos do not have the same resident stability as co-ops and rental buildings. She heard of the conversion last week and said building residents were expecting to receive additional information on the proposed conversion today.

“They are scared. They think they will get kicked out,” Brewer, who has been in contact with tenants, said. That, despite it being a non-eviction plan, which offers significant protections for tenants against developers.

Starrett officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Axton LLC and Axton Owner, which own the building, have spent $209,033 on lobbying the city, including City Council members and the Department of City Planning, city records show.

In November, lenders Angelo Gordon & Co. and LNR Corp. filed to foreclose on $55 million in loans secured by the Axton. That action was terminated on Jan. 31, about a month after an entity with an address at Starrett transferred an interest in the building to another entity at the same address for a recorded price of $57.6 million, city property records show.

The principals of the conversion sponsor are all members of Starrett’s upper management — Stephen Salup, senior vice president and general counsel; Peter Gray, a vice president; and Joshua Siegel, company president, the Attorney General website showed.

Related Articles

Blackstone CEO Steven Schwartzman and Stuyvesant Town (Credit: Getty Images)

After authorities vowed review of Stuy Town deal, Blackstone changes course on vacancies

Real Capital Analytics data showed that New York’s multifamily market had a very slow July. (Credit: iStock)

New NYC rent law “beginning to shut down investment”

Some landlords say they plan to close the door to vacant apartments and wait for the laws to change (Credit: iStock)

Creative ways NYC landlords are getting around the new rent rules

Berlin, Germany (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Rent freeze in Berlin ends calls for expropriation, but may spark disinvestment

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images, iStock, and Pixabay)

Analysis: Here’s what the new rent law will do to the average stabilized apartment

(Credit: iStock)

“Indentured landlord” in rent-reg lawsuit vents at politicians

Seth Schochet, Drew Goldsmith and 201 West 77th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Large, low-key landlord snags UWS building for $100M+

A&E Real Estate Holdings principal Douglas Eisenberg and the properties along Queens Blvd and 65th Avenue (Credit: The Rego Park 18 Portfolio)

A&E Real Estate buys huge rent-stabilized portfolio at deep discount