Lower Manhattan’s (a)trophy listings

Zero contracts signed this year for $20M or more below Canal Street

TRD New York /
Sep.September 25, 2015 11:02 AM

Sales have been brisk at pricey Downtown developments like 56 Leonard Street, 30 Park Place and 50 West Street, with most of the inventory under contract and spoken for.

For the most part, the only job left for the developers and sales teams is to find a buyer for the buildings’ trophy listings. But as the end of September looms, not a single contract has been signed below Canal Street this year above $20 million, an indication that the sellers may have set their expectations too high.

“Product in the lower price-bracket ranges tend to be absorbed more quickly,” said Town Residential sales president Wendy Maitland. “At the upper end of the market people tend to overprice things and tend to shoot for the moon.”

Earlier this summer The Real Deal took a look at demand for the uber-luxury condo product, and found it to be less of a sure-fire bet for developers than at the lower end of the luxury market.

To be sure, the $20-million mark represents the upper-upper crust of the market in neighborhoods like Tribeca, the Financial District and Battery Park City.

Private investor William Duker set the current condo record below Canal Street when he shelled out $30.6 million for the eight-room, 4,900-square-foot penthouse at 145 Hudson Street in 2009.

The 7,500-square-foot aerie atop the Art Deco conversion has been on and off the market since 2009, with the most recent asking price pegged at $48 million. New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony checked it out late last year, but ultimately decided on an $11 million unit at Cary Tamarkin’s 508 West 24th Street.

There are 11 active listings for condos on StreetEasy above the $20 million mark below Canal Street, and those don’t count the shadow inventory like the $110 million penthouse on the market at Alchemy Properties’ conversion of the Woolworth Building.

The priciest listing on StreetEasy is a $75 million penthouse at the top of the Residences at The Ritz Carlton at 10 West Street, which was completed in 2003. The 19-room, 7,500-square-foot unit has been on the market for 207 days.

At 919 days, the $34.5 million penthouse at the Herzog & de Meuron-designed 56 Leonard has been on the market the longest.

The tower’s developer, Izak Senbahar of the Alexico Group, said that the slow-down in $20-million-plus sales isn’t specific to Lower Manhattan and acknowledged that the demand may not be there at the price point.

“There may be an oversupply of $20 million-plus apartments,” he said. “It’s not really downtown specific. There were probably more deals a year ago than there are now. Maybe there will be more next year.”

Or next month. According to Town’s data, there was only one $20-million-plus contract signed by this point in 2014, but a flurry of deals kicked off in October and the year ended with seven contracts signed above the price point.

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