19-story condo planned for 5 Franklin Place

Israeli-based property investment firm Fishman Holdings closed on a development site at 5 Franklin Place in Tribeca last week, after successfully bidding for the property at a foreclosure auction in September, and has released some details, including a rendering, of its plans for the site exclusively to The Real Deal.

The firm is planning a 19-story, 58-unit condominium, Yehuda Mor, executive vice president of Fishman, told The Real Deal. Construction on the new development will begin in the first quarter of 2012. Mor declined to comment on the size or price of the units or on who would be marketing the building, saying it was premature.

“We think the time is right to enter the Tribeca housing market,” he said.

The 18,747-square-foot site was previously acquired for $36.6 million in 2006 by an LLC called Franklin Place, and controlled by Madison Avenue-based developer Sleepy Hudson, which had intended to construct a 20-story 55-unit condo. Development stalled during the recession and the site was put back on the market for $19.5 million, but never sold. Franklin Place LLC completed part of the foundation and the initial lower-floor structure.

Fishman’s rendering could not look more different that the original Sleepy Hudson design by Dutch architect Ben van Berkel. The previous design featured an exterior of reflective black steel bands that twisted and morphed as they wrapped themselves around the structure. The new design, by Richard DeMarco of architecture firm Montroy Andersen DeMarco, is much more akin to other new development condos on the market today.

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With so many new developments in Tribeca — among them 57 Reade Street, 250 West Street and 77 Reade Street — will 5 Franklin Place attract buyers?

The fact that so many of these new developments are selling well “just shows you that the market down there can definitely absorb product,” said Andrew Gerringer, managing director at the Marketing Directors, who is not involved at 5 Franklin Place. “From what I’ve heard, they’ve reprogrammed and reengineered [the design] for today’s market… If they build the right product, there’s no reason it shouldn’t sell in today’s market.”

Bernice Leventhal, a broker at the Corcoran Group who has a variety of listings in Tribeca, said the building has some bad publicity to overcome.

“There’s been so much talk, so much speculation about the building [as a result of the foreclosure], it will only do really well if it’s priced competitively… It’s biggest competitor will be 57 Reade Street.”

Three Tribeca condos that stalled during the downturn — 33 Vestry Street, 471 Washington Street and One North Moore Street — prove Gerringer’s theory and have now nearly sold out, as was previously reported. 

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