Want to sell a luxury condo? Try using wood made by monks

Luring buyers with deep pockets means pulling out all the stops for pricey condos

With fewer and fewer buyers willing to fork out tens of millions for New York apartments, developers are searching the world over for materials no one else has.

In this market, buyers can be picky and creating something unique is a requisite for staying competitive. In an effort to lure well-heeled buyers, developers are going to forests in Austria, the south of France and even to find a particular type of Danish brick clay, the Wall Street Journal reported. “There’s tremendous effort to pull out all the stops and try every idea,” appraiser Jonathan Miller [TRDataCustom] told the newspaper.

At Madison Realty Capital’s Noho condo building, 1 Great Jones Alley, for example, marble for 16 kitchen islands and back splashes came from an Italian quarry linked to Renaissance artist Michelangelo. They hope the culture injection will help drive $130 million, or $2,640 a square foot, in sales.

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It’s a similar story at 70 Vestry Street, where the Related Companies is aiming for a total sellout of $690 million. There, they used stone experts to guide the purchase of more than $7 million in French limestone for the building.

And at the Soho condo conversion XOCO 325, developer Joseph McMillan’s DDG is going the extra mile with flooring. All 21 of their apartments have floors made from Austrian wood manufactured by monks. And then there’s the clay, found only in one part of Denmark, that was obtained for Hope Street Capital’s 33-unit Boerum Hill condo project, the Hendrik.

“Going to Denmark in the dead of winter for 48 hours wasn’t the first thing on my [to-do] list,” said Hope Street Capital’s Jeffrey Gershon, who is selling condos at the project for between $1.7 and $4.5 million. [WSJ] — Miriam Hall