Can the Setai Fifth Avenue transform Midtown South?

October 14, 2010 10:00 AM

Setai Fifth Avenue

Even with half of the Setai Fifth Avenue’s pricey 184 condominium units in contract, New York City brokers are skeptical that the new $656 million, 60-story building, between 36th and 37th streets, can transform what has traditionally been a tourist-filled neighborhood into one that would be desirable for their well-heeled clients. Units have thus far been selling for $2,000 to $2,300 per square foot, according to developer Bizzi & Partners, mostly to foreign buyers, including some European soccer stars. Bizzi plans to kick off its local marketing efforts in November. But some brokers say there isn’t enough demand for that neighborhood, at those prices. “People spending that amount of money want to be next to high-end shopping and good restaurants,” said Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Jacky Teplitzky. Broker Giampiero Rispo of Domus Realty, who frequently works with Europeans, agreed: “If [prices] were closer to $1,600 a square foot, I would bring some people to see it,” he said. But the developers contend that the high-end shopping and good restaurants will follow in their footsteps soon enough. One already has: Michael White is opening a Mediterranean restaurant at the hotel, which opens to guests Nov. 1. [WSJ]


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