The Real Deal New York

Greenland Forest City swaps Corcoran for Nest Seekers at 550 Vanderbilt

Ryan Serhant tapped to sell out Pacific Park’s first resi condo
By E.B. Solomont | July 18, 2017 04:45PM

Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, 550 Vanderbilt Avenue and Nest Seekers International’s Ryan Serhant (Credit: Michael McWeeney)

After selling only a handful of apartments over the past few months, Greenland Forest City Partners is switching up the marketing team at 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, the first condominium at the Pacific Park megadevelopment in Brooklyn.

The developers have replaced Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group with Nest Seekers International’s Ryan Serhant, they said Tuesday. The 278-unit building — which launched in 2015 — is 65 percent sold.

“We were interested in making a change and trying something new and fresh,” said Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, who called the split with Corcoran “amicable.” “It’s not as if we went to one of Corcoran’s primary competitors,” she added. “We wanted to play a little bit and experiment a little bit. In Ryan, we get that.”

Serhant said there are just over 100 units left to sell — or $200 million worth of condos — including a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units. There are also several townhouse and penthouse units for sale, ranging in price from $3.5 million to $8 million. Studios start at just under $600,000.

“What’s great now is that people can actually see the building,” he said. The amenities are nearly complete, he said, though a key amenity surrounds the development. “This is the first opportunity to live inside a 8-acre park — that’s what Pacific Park is. Green space surrounds these buildings,” he said.

Still, he’s got his work cut out for him. Between June 2015 and June 2016, Greenland Forest City — a partnership between Forest City Ratner and Greenland USA — sold 140 condos at 550 Vanderbilt. But over six months that followed, they sold just 27.

“Pricing is within our our pro-forma range, although the pace is modestly slower than initially anticipated,” Robert O’Brien, CFO of the developer’s parent company, Forest City Realty Trust, said during a February earnings call.

Gilmartin told The Real Deal that Forest City and Greenland would not cut prices. She said 550 Vanderbilt wasn’t your “standard fare development project.” “We’re building an entire neighborhood,” she said.

Overall, prices and sales volume in Brooklyn’s new condo market are up. There were 385 new development sales during the second quarter — a massive 175 percent increase from the prior year, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel. The median price for a new condos rose 42 percent to $990,000, and inventory is up 43 percent from last year.