FiDi’s newest rentals to hit market this month

Magnum Real Estate Group's Front Street building will have monthly rents up to $20,000

Lower Manhattan’s newest rental building at 254 Front Street could see its first residents move in by April 15, Marc Ravner, co-principal of Magnum Real Estate Group, the developer of the property, told The Real Deal today.

The building, still under last minute construction,  is slated to apply for its temporary certificate of occupancy in the next two weeks, Ravner said during a private tour of the development this morning. The developers are handling leasing in-house.

Work is still ongoing at the Front Street building, between Dover Street and Peck Slip, as workers do a last minute push to complete the units and install appliances. When completed, the eight-story 40-unit property, designed by architect Morris Adjmi with historic oversized mahogany window frames and a zinc and brick facade, will feature units ranging from 400-square-foot one-bedrooms, asking upwards of $3,000 a month, to a 2,000-square-foot, four-bedroom penthouse with home office, asking $20,000 a month, Ravner said.

With the penthouse, Magnum is targeting families in need of large living space, he said, noting there are few such properties in the Financial District. As previously reported, the city’s elite once lusted after so-called classic six apartments with two bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, a maid’s room and a bathroom. But thanks to the appeal of downtown, that is no longer necessarily the case.

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The Front Street building was originally purchased in 2004 by developer Barry Akrongold, as was previously reported, and was planned as a condominium. However, the project’s lender, the Bank of Smithtown, never funded the construction and the project stalled. (People’s United Bank took control of Smithtown in 2010.) Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate eventually took over the project and repositioned it as a rental in 2009 after being presented the opportunity by Smithtown, with which it had a longstanding relationship.

“We were helping review [some of their] troubled assets,” Ravner said.

The building plans changed along the way — 20 condo units became 40 rental units and the finishes were adjusted to appeal to the rental market – but the exterior façade, which had already been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Department of Buildings, remains the same.

Magnum is still seeking a commercial tenant for the 3,500-square-foot, ground-floor retail space at the property, which Ravner said would be “ideal for a restaurant or a high-end, eat-in deli.” The commercial space is listed with Richard Skulnik and Andrew Mandell of Ripco Real Estate. The asking rent for the space was not immediately available.