A new ‘Reade’ on the market

New high-rise condo, Reade57, gearing up to launch in Tribeca with (slightly) lower-than-average prices

The glassy Reade57 (behind shorter building) plans to launch sales next month.
The glassy Reade57 (behind shorter building) plans to launch sales next month.

In a city defined by soaring skyscrapers, a 20-story condominium is hardly considered a towering giant.

But in Tribeca, a neighborhood marked by low-rise buildings and sprawling lofts, the New Modernist, glass-construction Reade57, a high-rise with smaller-scale apartments, will stand apart as a residential alternative in the area.

At least that’s what its developers, the John Buck Company, are hoping.

The Chicago-based firm, the builders behind the swanky Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, plans to launch sales at the 84-unit condo in the middle of next month, with Brown Harris Stevens Select serving as the exclusive marketing agent.

The condo has been in the works since 2006, but structural issues with the building next door waylaid construction (note: correction appended).

The setback pushed back Reade57’s debut. But Jack Buck, principal and senior vice president of the development firm, told The Real Deal that the delay turned out to be a blessing in disguise given the Great Recession.

That’s when “we decided we might as well wait a little bit,” he said, adding that the firm held off on completing construction even after the structural issues with the adjacent building were resolved.

“We didn’t think it was prudent to open a building in a down market,” Buck said.

Still, even amid the economic crisis, “the construction lenders were great; they stuck with us,” Buck noted, though he declined to say who the lenders were.

Fast-forward to 2011, and Reade57, located between Broadway and Church Street, is about 70 percent complete, having topped off in late December. Last month, crews were finishing the window walls on the upper portion of the building, and the interiors on the lower floors.

Shlomi Reuveni, senior managing director and executive vice president with Brown Harris Stevens Select, said they plan to launch sales in the summer and deliver units by fall.

“So while building may not be 100 percent finished when we launch for sales, buyers will be able to view a finished product, model apartments, etc. … and move in shortly after,” he said.

The condo — which was designed by SLCE Architects, the firm that served as the architect of record for Robert A.M. Stern on 15 Central Park West — expects to receive its certificate of occupancy and open by mid-September.

And Buck is optimistic about sales.

“There’s not a lot of product for these sales prices [in that area]. We’re excited and think it’s going to do well,” he said.

According to Reuveni, there is already a waiting list of interested buyers.

“While the rental market is very active in the neighborhood, we felt that there was a [dearth] of [condo] apartments that were affordable; that’s what we were aiming for.”

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While prices are still preliminary, one-bedroom units will start at around $814,000, two-bedrooms will start at about $1.44 million, and three-bedrooms will start at $2.49 million, Reuveni said.

According to Brown Harris Stevens Select’s market reports, in late March, the average sales price of one-bedroom doorman condo units in Tribeca was $1.10 million. And according to StreetEasy, the average price for one-bedroom active listings in Tribeca is $1.16 million.

Indeed, Reade57 was designed to answer the need in Tribeca for smaller apartments at a smaller sale price, in a high-end building with amenities such as a 24-hour doorman, fitness center, live-in resident manager, private storage and laundry room. One-, two- and three-bedroom units will range in size from 713 square feet to 1,863 square feet. Several apartments include outdoor space, with either balconies or terraces.

There is also a landscaped common terrace.

Some buyers “may not be able to afford 2,500- to 3,000-square-foot lofts priced at $3 million to $4 million or more, which is Tribeca’s typical condo inventory,” Reuveni said.

The housing inventory in Tribeca is tight. And there are scant new residential developments in the area, both Buck and Reuveni said.

Sofia Song, vice president of research at real estate listings website StreetEasy, said there were about 45 percent fewer listings in the first quarter of 2011 than at the height of the market in the second quarter of 2009, when available Tribeca inventory peaked at close to 600 listings.

Jack Buck (left), principal at the John Buck Company, and Shlomi Reuveni of Brown Harris Stevens Select, at Reade57.
Jack Buck (left), principal at the John Buck Company, and Shlomi Reuveni of Brown Harris Stevens Select, at Reade57.

In a Q&A about Tribeca in February, she pointed out that a few years ago, large new buildings like the 30-story 200 Chambers and the 35-story 101 Warren were on the market in Tribeca. Now that is no longer the case, and many of the planned new residential projects simply died during the downturn. Others, like 34 Leonard, went from condo to rental.

Reuveni said instead of the brand-new buildings, “much of what we’ve seen is conversions and renovations of prewar buildings, warehouses and the landmark conversion of housing stock.”

Another big selling point is Reade57’s 421a tax abatement — which Reuveni said is getting harder to come by in new constructions these days.

That’s “a huge advantage for buyers, because they’ll have lower taxes for a 10-year period,” Buck added.

Reuveni predicted that in addition to young couples and empty nesters, the building would also attract those working in the Financial District and Soho, which are both nearby.

Song said there weren’t really any projects comparable to Reade57 in the immediate area. She said 101 Warren and 200 Chambers may have been comparable, but they were both on the market during the boom. And she noted that Artisan Lofts is not comparable because it’s a smaller conversion with “very eclectic finishes.”

“All the new developments in Tribeca right now or in the pipeline are on a much smaller scale,” she said.

Reuveni did point to the new construction 77 Reade nearby, “but that’s a low-rise building that doesn’t have the views and exposures of Reade57,” Reuveni said. “And the price point is probably a different level.”

Indeed it is. The Corcoran Group is marketing that development on Reade Street at prices that are far higher, ranging from $1.07 million for a studio to $4.25 million for a four-bedroom with a terrace. (77 Reade also has a 421a tax abatement.)

Reuveni acknowledged that market conditions have changed since 2006, when Reade57 was first envisioned at the height of the real estate boom. But he said the market has stabilized since the bust.

“The market has much more of a positive feel to it right now — people are committing, people are purchasing,” he said.