Fifteen William, the 47-story residential building in the Financial District, was the prototypical recession-tinged condominium tower that found new life as a high-end rental. After Los Angeles-based private equity firm CIM Group took over as sponsor, in 2010, the distinctively hued tower at the intersection of William and Beaver streets even broke a record for highest effective rent in the neighborhood. Now, the building is going back to condo, sources told The Real Deal.
Ownership is removing Town Residential from its post directing leasing and instead installing Douglas Elliman, both brokerages confirmed to TRD. Elliman said the switch was effective at the end of November and that Clifford Finn would head the effort.
But renters at the tower can sit tight, said Elie Pariente, founder of Downtown brokerage Synergy New York, who knows the building well. “They don’t need to vacate everybody to come to market,” he said. “The tenants there are rather high-end.”
Instead, the building will likely phase out renting more slowly, sources said.
It’s also a great time to sell condos Downtown, according to Pariente. “The timing couldn’t be any better. Forty Broad [Street] just sold out. The inventory has never been lower,” he said.
He estimated that about 200 of the 300 units are currently rented. An Elliman spokesperson declined to comment on how many condos would be available.
A Town team led by Matthew Van Damm took over leasing in April from Rose Associates. (Van Damm left Town for developer the Naftali Group in September, as The Real Deal reported).
Also in April, the building rebranded as 15 William, opting to remove the busy animal from its moniker, which was previously the William Beaver House.
But Town said there were no hard feelings about the latest switch. “When we began the discussions [with landlord CIM] … we were starting a conversation based on a return to condo sales,” said Anna Zarro, the brokerage’s director of marketing and leasing. “We wish CIM great success in its sales efforts, and our sales force will continue to support 15 William.”
A representative for CIM declined to comment.
CIM took over as sponsor when the property went into default under its previous owners, billionaire developer Tamir Sapir and SDS Investments.