The Real Deal New York

Leonard Steinberg looks to lock in quick flip in the Village

Ascend bought 146 Waverly townhouse for $10.2M in December, now asking $22M
By Hiten Samtani | June 10, 2014 09:51AM

Leonard Steinberg is marketing a Greenwich Village townhouse undergoing a gut renovation for $22 million — more than twice the $10.2 million the sellers paid for the property late last year.

The five-story, 22.5-foot wide townhouse has seven bedrooms and 6.5-bathrooms and is located at 146 Waverly Place, between Grove Street and Sixth Avenue. Massey Knakal’s James Nelson and Mitchell Levine listed the 6,118-square-foot property for $10.75 million last June, or about $1,757 per square foot, according to StreetEasy.

In December, a partnership between Robert Kaliner of Ascend Builders and Jeffrey Davidson bought it for $10.2 million, or roughly $1,667 per square foot, city property records show. The developers secured the approval to convert the building into a single-family townhouse from a multi-unit townhouse and add about 700 square feet to the property, according to Department of Building records.

Ascend, which is behind developments such as the 58-unit Georgica on the Upper East Side and the 99-unit 133 West 22nd Street, will install an interior elevator, media room, Rooftop Terrace and a new kitchen at the property, according to its website. Architect Wayne Turett is overseeing the project.

Steinberg, a Douglas Elliman stalwart who made a surprise jump along with partner Hervé Senequier to Urban Compass earlier this month, is now marketing the property at $3,235 per square foot, according to a listing on Urban Compass’ website.

Planning, securing approval for and executing a townhouse gut renovation can take up to a year and a half, Steinberg said, and “the cost to do so can be prohibitive,” as much as $7 million.

“These are developers who know what they’re doing,” he said.

There’s certainly precedent in the neighborhood for a large markup following a gut renovation. In September 2012, “24” star Kiefer Sutherland sold his gut-renovated 4,830-square-foot townhouse at 763 Greenwich Street for its full asking price of $17.5 million — $3,623 a foot — after paying only $8.2 million for the home in 2008. The property recently came back to the market asking $22 million, or about $4,555 per square foot.

What’s unusual about 146 Waverly is that Steinberg and Senequier are trying to lock in a buyer at a post-renovation level price before the heavy lifting is done. The listing states that “for a limited time, a unique opportunity allows this property to be customized to meet the exact needs and wants of the new owner,” and adds that if a buyer for the bespoke option isn’t identified within six weeks, the house will be pulled off the market and completed to its current specifications. Those specs include a formal dining room on the garden floor and a full-floor master suite on the second floor.

Steinberg said the small window will allow Ascend to try to do a deal without derailing the timeline of the renovation. “You can’t hold back the process,” he said.