Elliman in, Marketing Directors out at 254 Park Avenue South

Prudential Douglas Elliman has replaced the Marketing Directors as the exclusive marketing and sales team at Flatiron condominium conversion 254 Park Avenue South.

Apartments at the 123-unit building, located at the corner of Park Avenue and 20th Street, have been on sale since March 2008, according to Daniel Rosen, a principal at Rosen Partners. Rosen’s company is developing the project along with Greystone Real Estate Partners.

The Marketing Directors “did a very good job,” he said, selling enough units — 15 percent, or around 19 units — to have the condo conversion declared effective. He declined to give specific sales figures but said now that the real estate market has soured, the developers decided to bring in Elliman, which handled sales at the project’s next door neighbor, 260 Park Avenue South.

“With Elliman’s broad network of brokers and the vision that they had, we thought it was the best match,” Rosen said.

Jacqueline Urgo, president of the Marketing Directors, said in a statement: “Both parties agree that we met our goals and the developer has now decided to move in a new direction.”

Units at 254 Park Avenue South start at $740,000 for a 445-square-foot studio, or $1,662 per square foot, according to the real estate listings Web site Streeteasy.com.

Meanwhile, the average price per square foot in Manhattan in the second quarter of 2009 was $1,056, according to Elliman’s second-quarter market report.

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When asked whether he would consider cutting prices at the development, as more and more New York City developments have done, Rosen said he is not currently planning to reduce his prices.

“Right now, we are continuing our path,” he said.

Andrew Gerringer, managing director of Elliman’s development marketing, had a similar response when asked if units at the building are too expensive. “Right now, the developer has asked us to stay the course,” he said. “We’ll see how things go.”

He added that the scarcity of prewar condos in the city could help support prices. “When you have a limited quantity of something, people will pay a premium,” he said.

The building, constructed in the 1920s, retains many of its prewar characteristics, such as 12- to 14-foot ceilings and a limestone façade, Rosen said. But it’s been renovated and outfitted with amenities such as a fitness center, billiards room, poker room and a bar.

“Much of what you see and touch is new,” Rosen said. “The marriage of prewar details and modern design — that was our main focus. We felt that was what differentiated it from other projects.”

Construction at the site is nearing completion, and closings are expected to begin next month, Gerringer said.