The Real Deal New York

The records roller coaster

A snapshot of the benchmarks that have been broken in NYC’s residential market — from the priciest sales to the most expensive distressed deals
By Meenal Vamburkar | November 01, 2018 10:00AM

1 QPS Tower in Long Island City has 391 rental units

There may be a market slowdown, but it’s still New York, and that means residential records are still being broken across the boroughs. While many of those records are positive indicators for the market, there are also a few lows — whether they be for priciest foreclosures or biggest price chops. Here’s a quick-and-dirty (unscientific) look at some of the benchmarks that have recently been broken.

Most Expensive Rental Building Sale in Queens
$284M

In August, a Carlyle Group-managed fund agreed to pay $284 million for 1 QPS Tower, a 45-story building in LIC with 391 market-rate rentals. When it closes, the deal will be the borough’s most expensive rental property sale. The sellers are the Hakim Organization, Property Markets Group and Howard Lorber’s New Valley.

Circa Central Park at 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard

Priciest Upper Manhattan Sale
$9.5M

A Harlem penthouse that sold late last month for $9.5 million smashed the record for the priciest Uptown condo sale. The 3,734-square-foot apartment is at Circa Central Park at the corner of 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, the Wall Street Journal reported. The deal is reportedly the most expensive condo sale north of 96th Street on the West Side and above 102nd Street on the East Side.

Most Expensive Bed-Stuy Townhouse
$6.3M

The historic John C. Kelley mansion in Bedford-Stuyvesant sold in September for $6.3 million, a record price for a single-family home in the neighborhood. The buyer of the home, which according to Brownstoner was first listed in 2014, made the purchase through an LLC. The deal smashed the previous neighborhood record — a $3.3 million townhouse sale that closed in 2017, according the website.

Priciest Luxury Auction
$4.8M starting price

6 Cortlandt Alley

Paramount Realty USA announced that it would hold what it claims is the country’s most expensive condo auction at 6 Cortlandt Alley this month. The move comes after the developers — Imperial Development Group and MCG Fund 1 Manager — failed to sell even one of the five units. Paramount’s Misha Haghani told the Wall Street Journal that it was a “chicken and egg problem” with no buyer wanting to pull the trigger first. Auction prices will start at $4.8 million.

Most Expensive Foreclosure
$50.9M

It’s a year old but still needs mentioning. A $50.9 million condo at One57 set the record for the city’s priciest foreclosure last November when it was unloaded for $36 million. That was 29 percent less than what Nigerian business mogul, Kolawole Akanni Aluko, paid in 2014. While several One57 resellers have eaten losses, the foreclosure was not a harbinger of rampant distress. And the building now has the priciest non-hotel rental, a unit asking $125,000 a month.

Tallest Queens Building
778 ft.

Developer Chris Xu and a rendering of 23-14 44th Drive in Long Island City

Once complete, developer Chris Xu’s 778-foot condo tower at 23-14 44th Drive in Long Island City will be the tallest building in Queens — even after a 200-foot height reduction. But another tower is also in the running. The Durst Organization’s Queens Plaza Park, at 29-37 41st Avenue, is projected to be 710 feet tall and may wrap construction first. If that happens, the mixed-used tower, which will house 958 rentals, will briefly hold a height record.

Priciest Bronx Development Site
$165M

This past spring, Brookfield Properties forked over $165 million to Keith Rubenstein’s Somerset Partners and the Chetrit Group to buy a 1.3-million-square-foot waterfront site in the South Bronx. The deal was the priciest transaction for a private development site in the borough. Brookfield is now planning a mixed-use project that will include 1,300 rental units across seven buildings — a giant vote of investor confidence in the borough.

The Getty in Chelsea and private equity titan Robert F. Smith

Priciest Downtown Sale
$59M

In May, news broke that Robert F. Smith, a private equity executive, had shelled out roughly $59 million for a penthouse at the Getty, the swanky condo project developed by Michael Shvo and Victor Group. That purchase is the priciest deal to ever close in Downtown Manhattan and broke the record previously held by the Walker Tower, where the penthouse sold in 2014 for $51 million.

Brooklyn’s Tallest Building
1,066 ft.

At 1,066 feet tall, Michael Stern’s JDS Development Group is building what is slated to be Brooklyn’s tallest tower: 9 DeKalb Avenue. The project will house a mix of residential rentals, condos and commercial space. Nearby, Extell Development is building another residential tower, Brooklyn Point, which will clock in at 696 feet, shorter than 9 DeKalb but still taller than the Hub in Downtown Brooklyn, which stands at 610 feet and is currently the borough’s tallest tower.

Priciest Brooklyn Sale
$20M+

A penthouse at Quay Tower — a 30-story, under-construction project being developed by RAL Companies and David Wine’s Oliver’s Realty Group in Brooklyn Bridge Park — reportedly went into contract for more than $20 million. If the deal closes at that price, it will smash the borough’s current record of $15.5 million. Until now, Matt Damon was set to top that deal with his $17 million purchase at the Standish. But some are skeptical that Damon’s in-contract deal will close at that price. “I’m glad it’s in contract, but I think it’ll be for less,” said Lawrence Treglia, an agent at CORE.

Biggest Price Cuts

The share of sales in Manhattan and Brooklyn with price cuts reached highs of 28 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in the second quarter of this year, according to StreetEasy’s most recent publicly available data. Those price chops came as both boroughs saw big increases in inventory.

550 Vanderbilt in Brooklyn

Record Investor Activity
10.7%

The number of condos purchased as investments last year smashed a record dating back to 2006 — according to at least one metric kept by listings website StreetEasy: 10.7 percent of all condos purchased citywide were listed by their new owners as rentals within months. Brooklyn’s 550 Vanderbilt, which has been a magnet for Chinese investors and currently has units listed for between $780,000 and $7.7 million, had more of those investment buyers than any other condo citywide.