Are developers playing "chicken" with the market?

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Real estate boomed in 2021, but these NYC buyers lost big

Most investors made a killing over the last two years as prices leapt across virtually every sector of the residential market. But some investors are learning that even supposedly ironclad “Swiss bank vault” Manhattan towers carry big risks.

The XI, a massive $2 billion, 236-unit condo project with twisting twin towers designed by superstar architect Bjarke Ingels, is currently rotting along the High Line in Chelsea. Last year, the financial collapse of its developer, HFZ Capital Group, halted construction on the XI. It went into foreclosure, washing away tens of millions in investor capital with it.

“No one knows when it will be finished,” said Kitt Garrett, a Chelsea resident and member of community group Save Chelsea. She added that the boarded-up sidewalks have made the High Line less pleasant and the area feel less safe.
“If you have someone looking at new luxury construction and there is a [languishing] development site across the street, people are going to have pause,” said Compass broker Michael J. Franco of the “big drag” the project has put on the neighborhood.
“You have to tell them it’s on hold, and you don’t know when it’s going to start up again.”

According to documents filed last year with the state attorney general’s office, HFZ sold 38 units at the XI before stopping sales in the building. Those buyers should eventually receive their apartments after the building is completed by whoever purchases HFZ’s debt, said attorney Adam Leitman Bailey.
In November, The Post broke news that billionaire real estate mogul Steven Witkoff is poised to be that buyer and complete construction of the tower — but how long the deal would take to shake out, how long it would take to complete construction and what that means for investors remains unclear.
HFZ principals Nir Meir (left) and Ziel Feldman (right) lost small investors’ money when the XI in Chelsea dragged their company under. Today, that building continues to rot along the High Line.Tana Lee Alves/WireImage for Niche Media, LLC; Michael Sofronsk
An auction scheduled by the project’s lender, the Children’s Investment Fund, a British hedge fund, has already been pushed from last fall into the new year.

“If the market had kept going up, and you didn’t have COVID, these guys [HFZ] would have been fine,” said Leitman Bailey. “But they weren’t doing that well, they were just getting by, and then COVID hits, and that just wipes you out.”
But investors lost big on other HFZ developments, too.
HFZ’s Feldman and Meir developed and converted many of the city’s splashiest new apartment buildings like the Belnord.Michael Sofronski
Over the last decade, HFZ principals Ziel Feldman and Nir Meir developed and converted more than a dozen of the city’s most splashy and luxurious new apartment buildings like the storied Belnord on the Upper West Side, the Bryant overlooking the New York Public Library and the Astor, a historic Upper West Side building originally built by William Waldorf Astor II in 1909.
Many small-time millionaires put money into these HFZ projects at the preconstruction stage with the understanding that they would ultimately get units in those buildings.

At the time, it no doubt seemed a good way to score an apartment at a discount. Now, however, many are suing the developer, claiming they were cheated out of the units they were promised. Because these transactions were technically investments, as opposed to traditional apartment sales, the individuals don’t enjoy the same protections a typical buyer would.
“They would delay as much as possible,” said a condo investor, who requested anonymity, of the developer, whose entire portfolio of buildings is being gobbled up by rival real estate sharks who smell blood in the water. “They would blame the market or construction or the banks or whatever the reason might be to delay delivering [the units] for as long as humanly possible.”
The investor said that he waited more than five years to close on a unit HFZ agreed to provide in exchange for his investment.
HFZ “started making all kinds of excuses as to why they couldn’t close,” they said. Ultimately, “We understood that HFZ had no intention of ever closing on our unit.”
It remains unclear just how many Joe Schmo buyers went down with the ship, but multiple cases involving such deals are currently working their way through the New York court system, and there will likely be additional suits to come, said one source familiar with the dealings, who also requested anonymity.
Investor Sergey Kostyatnikov claimed to have put $3.8 million into HFZ’s Marquand condo, according to a lawsuit a year ago. HFZ never delivered him units.Stefano Giovannini
This source said he knew of roughly 10 individuals who had invested money in HFZ buildings with the expectation of receiving a unit or units in those buildings. He said these investments ranged from $3 to $4 million to more than $10 million.
HFZ took the money but in some cases never delivered the promised units. Now, it’s unlikely these investors will get much, if any, of their money back.
That story is repeated again and again in New York state Supreme Court records.
In a lawsuit filed in December of last year, investor Sergey Kostyatnikov claimed to have put $3.8 million into HFZ’s condo conversion the Marquand, at 11 E. 68th St. in Lenox Hill.
Kostyatnikov was then promised two units at the Astor — he never got those, either, according to his complaint.Stefano Giovannini
According to his suit, Kostyatnikov (who, through his lawyer, declined to comment) was entitled to one of two units in the building. HFZ never delivered either of those units to Kostyatnikov but instead agreed to offer him a pair of units at the company’s Upper West Side condo building, the Astor. Per Kostyatnikov’s complaint, he never received those units either.
In another suit, an investor acting through limited liability company Astor Ben Sasha LLC claimed to have put $6.2 million into the Astor in 2014 in exchange for a unit in the building. According to the suit, they have been waiting to take possession of the unit ever since, despite pumping another $1 million into “build-outs and interior work and finishes” for the apartment.
Another LLC, Arel Capital Partners II, is suing HFZ over $7.3 million it claims to have invested in the company’s condo projects 88-90 Lexington, Fifty Third and Eighth and the Astor in exchange for a pair of units at the latter building, which it never received.
Arel Capital Partners II is suing HFZ over $7.3 million the LLC alleges it poured into the company’s condo projects like 88-90 Lexington.Lorenzo Ciniglio/Freelance
Instead, the suit alleges, HFZ refinanced these four buildings and ploughed the proceeds from that transaction into its ill-fated XI project, which was slated to house the city’s first Six Senses hotel (now also indefinitely delayed).
Would-be buyer Jenny Kwan lent HFZ more than $3 million in 2015 with the understanding that the funds could serve as credit toward purchase of a unit at the developer’s Bryant condo building at 16 W. 40th St.
Last month she sued the firm for refusing to close on a pair of units in the building while continuing to keep her money.
Jenny Kwan lent HFZ more than $3 million in 2015 thinking it would count as credit toward a unit the at the Bryant building. It did not, according to her lawsuit.Stefano Giovannini
The problem for these individuals, of course, is that HFZ has gone bust and appears to have neither the money nor the apartments to pony up.
In August, Feldman filed a lawsuit claiming that Meir siphoned up “tens of millions of dollars of HFZ’s money,” blowing the funds on luxuries like a sprawling Hamptons mansion. He called his former partner a “sociopath” 17 times in the court filing and compared him to Bernie Madoff and cult leader Jim Jones.
Meir has denied those claims — but has since liquidated his largest assets. He sold his Hamptons playground to billionaire Robert Kraft for $43 million this year.

Little wonder Feldman is so exercised — as the guarantor on a number of loans HFZ took out to build its projects, he could be on the hook personally for tens of millions of dollars.
He has also begun liquidating his personal real estate holdings.
In January, he sold his Bridgehampton estate at 187 Dune Road for $50 million. Feldman is also trying to unload his penthouse at HFZ development the Marquand. He recently cut his asking price for the 6,200-square-foot pad from $39 million to $35 million.
Representatives for HFZ and Feldman declined to comment, as did Meir’s attorney.
Their real estate empire gone, Feldman and Meir are a reminder that even gold-plated Manhattan property deals can turn sour.
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David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member


Witkoff and Access Industries buy HFZ’s languishing XI condo project​

Companies acquire 76 11th Avenue in foreclosure sale​

Steve Witkoff and Len Blavatnik are the new owners of the stalled XI condo project.
The real estate developers bought the twisting-tower luxury development at 76 11th Avenue in a foreclosure sale Thursday after its former owner, HFZ Capital Group, fell into financial ruin.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Witkoff Group and Blavatnik’s Access Industries have secured financing to resume construction of the 900,000-square-foot, mixed-use towers on the High Line. The group recently acquired the mezzanine loan on the Bjarkes Ingles-designed project.

The Witkoff-Access partnership plans to begin construction on the condo, hotel and retail project early next year. The two towers are expected to rise to 26 and 36 stories. The project will have 235 condominiums, 137 hotel rooms, a spa, 85,000 square feet of leasable commercial retail space and a public plaza. Asset management firm Monroe Capital is a partner in the venture.

“We are committed to completing this long-stalled project, which also includes a new public plaza and entrance to the iconic High Line Park,” said Steven Witkoff, Witkoff Group chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Walker and Dunlop’s New York Capital Markets team led by Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz and Adam Schwartz arranged the partnership between Access Industries and Witkoff Group.

The project’s lender, a subsidiary of UK-based hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund, had originally scheduled a UCC foreclosure sale for October of HFZ’s stake in the mixed-use development, marketing materials show.
The hedge fund provided HFZ with a $1.25 billion loan for the project in 2017, including a senior mortgage and a pair of mezzanine loans.

The XI was HFZ’s marquee project, but work stopped on the development in late 2019.
The Manhattan development firm founded by Ziel Feldman was once among New York’s most prolific condo developers, but has since been besieged by foreclosures, lawsuits, and liens. Feldman blamed the company’s demise on its former principal Nir Meir, who he alleges used HFZ’s money to pay for personal expenses. Meir’s attorneys have strongly denied the allegations.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member

These were the five largest development plans filed in NYC in 2021​

Turnbridge Equities and Dune Real Estate’s 1.2M-sf industrial project topped the list, beating out 4 resi towers​

As New York’s real estate market bounced back from the pandemic, the city’s largest developers moved ahead with their next megaprojects.
While demand for warehouses has a pair of developers building a 1.2-million-square-foot industrial project in the Bronx on spec, others continued to file plans for residential high-rises as well, despite uncertainty over the long-term prospects of the city’s condo and rental markets. Steve Roth’s Vornado Realty Trust is planning a 573-unit residential tower in Queens, Steve Witkoff aims to build a 52-story mixed-use tower in Downtown Brooklyn and another project, currently for sale, would add 765 apartments to Lower Manhattan.

Below are more details on the five largest project plans filed in New York City this year:

Turnbridge Equities and Dune Real Estate’s massive industrial project in the South Bronx​

A joint venture between Turnbridge Equities, led by Andrew Joblon and Ryan Nelson, and Dune Real Estate filed for the largest project in New York City this year. The venture plans to build a 1.2 million-square-foot industrial development on East 149th Street in Port Morris, which will include about 879,000 square feet of warehouse space. The remainder will be used for parking. The foundation has already started and construction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023, according to Nelson. The developers are building on spec, meaning they have no existing tenant in place. In September, they secured $381 million in financing from KKR.

Vornado’s mixed-use tower in Rego Park​

Steve Roth’s real estate powerhouse, Vornado Realty Trust, aims to construct a 32-story mixed-use building in Rego Park, Queens, submitting plans in October. The proposed tower would include 573 residential units along with 61,000 square feet of commercial space. The tower would total 824,000 square feet. Slice Architects is the architect of record. The planned site would rise just down the block from another Vornado project: the Alexander, a 27-story luxury apartment building atop the Rego Center shopping mall.

Radson Development’s affordable high-rise near the Javits Center​

Radson Development plans to build a 794,000 square-foot, mixed-use building at 495 Eleventh Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, consisting of two connected residential towers. One will rise 55 stories and contain 683 hotel units, while the other will total 56 stories, with 358 affordable housing units. The site of a demolished slaughterhouse, the property has spent the last few decades as a parking lot used by the NYPD. The building will incorporate vehicle storage space for the NYPD, as well as 8,900 square feet of office space. Gene Kaufman is listed as the architect of record.

Witkoff’s 52-story tower in Downtown Brooklyn​

Witkoff Group filed an application to build a mixed-use building with 590 residential units and more than 37,000 square feet of commercial space. The parcel centered on 589 Fulton Street was assembled by RedSky Capital and JZ Capital, who began acquiring the properties in 2012. Their $154.6 million loan went into default in March and the property was marketed for sale. Witkoff joined the project, initially in an advisory capacity, late last year. Permits were filed in August.

Starrett’s 765-unit resi tower in Two Bridges​

Starrett Corp. filed plans to build a 61-story tower with 765 apartments at 259 Clinton Street in Lower Manhattan. But the company has since put the site on the market, The Real Deal reported in November. Starrett filed plans to have parts of the foundation in place by the spring in order qualify for the 421-a tax break before it expires June 15. More than 2,700 apartment units are planned across a trio of developments in the Two Bridges neighborhood, all of which survived a vigorously contested legal challenge in May.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Naftali is big winner in Upper East Side condo comeback​

Just over a year ago, Miki Naftali spent about an hour standing on the sidewalk outside his upcoming project at the corner of Madison Avenue and East 80th Street. He was watching for people to notice the giant billboard he’d hung from the building’s facade, featuring an op-ed by Jerry Seinfeld on why New York wasn’t dead.


“Hopefully, it will create a little bit [of a] good vibe,” he said at the time. “Not everything is bad here.”

Whether the move was that of a desperate developer trying to sell pricey condos in one of the most challenging markets in recent times or a full-throated defense of the city is up for debate. But what is undeniable is that a year later, the tide has turned for Naftali. The condo at 1045 Madison Avenue where the billboard was hung, called the Benson, is now fully sold out — and is one of the best-performing buildings on the Upper East Side.


The Benson and another Naftali Group project in the neighborhood, an 83-residence tower at 200 East 83rd Street, account for 45 percent of new development sales in the neighborhood, according to a report by Marketproof, a firm that tracks the condo market.

“No matter how we analyze the data, Naftali’s projects are carrying the new development market on the Upper East Side,” Kael Goodman, CEO of Marketproof, said in the firm’s report.


Goodman noted that the asking prices at the two Naftali projects were near the neighborhood’s average of $2,945 per square foot.

The offering plan for 200 East 83rd was accepted in April with prices ranging from just under $6 million to $35 million, which averages out to $3,590 a foot. The building is nearly two-thirds sold, per Marketproof. The Benson’s asking prices were higher, at $4,368 per square foot for the building’s 15 units.

The developer is also reporting sales contracts at a third project at 1165 Madison Avenue, known as the Bellemont, and units are getting snapped up. In November, a buyer purchased the two duplex units, asking a total of $67 million, on the building’s top four floors with plans to combine them, according to Olshan Realty’s report.


Naftali said that his analysis of existing inventory led him to believe the neighborhood was “lacking of a really, really good product with all the modern amenities, the ease of life that we are doing in many other projects in the city.”


Part of that means allocating valuable floor space, often on higher floors, for common space. At 200 East 83rd, for instance, the pool, spa and fitness center are located on the 19th floor. Naftali also opted for a Classical stone facade, which has become a fixture of New York’s luxury condos ever since Robert A.M. Stern’s design for the Zeckendorfs’ 15 Central Park West. What the three Naftali projects have in common are high ceilings and big windows allowing a lot of light in.



Naftali is also known in the market for not negotiating with buyers on price — the asking price is the price, no exceptions. The developer confirmed this, saying it saves time and allows for a less acrimonious sales process. Unlike many other condo developers, he said, he doesn’t build with foreign or absentee buyers in mind, but instead for full-time New Yorkers.

“When you rely on foreign buyers, it’s much more volatile. You can either do fantastic when they’re here or it can be almost dead,” he said. “This is just not my type of business.”

These projects’ design elements aren’t exclusive to Naftali. Victor Sigoura, who started his career with Naftali before launching Legion Investment Group, filed plans for a 33-unit condo at 109 East 79th Street in the fall of 2020. With a limestone and hand-laid Roman brick facade, the building has 13-foot ceilings and 7,000 square feet of amenities on higher, windowed floors.

A year later, the building reported sales contracts for 17 units, making it the third best-selling new development in the neighborhood, according to Marketproof. (Sigoura said that sales were higher and the building was 70 percent sold.)

“I think that [our] buyer is looking for that great co-op feel but in a more modern way,” said Sigoura.

There’s also Icon Realty’s Beckford House & Tower, a two-tower, 104-unit development on Second Avenue between East 80th and 81st streets. The buildings were designed by architect William Sofield’s firm and are clad with brick and, on lower floors, limestone.

Sofield said stone facades bring a level of privacy to residents and hint at an overall quality.

“There’s a safety and security in thinking that ‘Well, the rest of the building must be well-built,’” he said. But that comes with an understanding that it will cost more, he added, because “harkening back to real craft” is much more time-consuming and expensive.

Paul Whalen, a partner at Robert A.M. Stern’s firm who led the design for Naftali’s Bellemont and the East 83rd Street project, recalled advice that Steve Roth, head of Vornado Realty Trust and developer of the record-smashing 220 Central Park South, gave him.

“If you do great quality in New York, prices will stretch,” Whalen recounted Roth saying.

The stone exterior has become table stakes for new development seeking top dollar. Of the 10 most expensive condo offering plans filed in Manhattan this year, none were for glassy towers. What ups the ante for Classical design in the neighborhood is the desire for a nice-looking building that could be mistaken for one of the storied co-ops along Fifth Avenue or Park Avenue — so long as observers suspend any judgment about building height and, crucially, location.

Buyers used to insist they would not go east of Park or Lexington avenues, but much of the current activity lies in the former no man’s land of Third and Second avenues.

“It isn’t about which block,” said Richard Ferrari, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s New York operations. “It’s about the Upper East Side. That attribute has changed.”

Whalen said that his firm’s residential projects have increasingly been boutique luxury condos.

“We think of it as an opportunity to come in and do something great and change the street,” he said.

“We’re in a golden age, because there was a long time where that never happened in New York,” he continued. “Now those sites are being considered again. To me that says so much about New York right now.”

Many of the buyers seem to already live in or frequent the neighborhood. Developers and sales agents at all of the aforementioned condo projects said that a significant number of buyers were people who walked by the project and then contacted the sales team.

Whalen attributed that interest in part to the pandemic as well as rising crime rates in the city.

“New York, starting with the pandemic, has gotten a bit more difficult,” he said. “The Upper East Side is still seen as a classic, safe and civilized neighborhood.”

In Naftali’s case, though closings have yet to begin at his three projects, it appears the developer isn’t done with the area. In late November, he said he was working on a new assemblage. A week later, he closed on two parcels on Second Avenue, between East 77th and East 78th streets, for $73 million.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member

New dev contracts cap boom year with $1B December​

Buyers signed deals for 341 new development condos, down from November but up significantly from 2019, 2020​


New development contracts finished the year with a slight holiday dip, capping off a promising 2021.
Buyers signed contracts for 341 new development condos across the city in December, according to a monthly analysis by Marketproof, a 15 percent decrease from November’s 413 deals. The 341 units were asking a combined $1.03 billion.
Still, contract activity was up 44 percent from December 2020 and 65 percent from December 2019, a sign that the market has more than recovered from its pandemic slump. The median last asking price was $1.9 million, or $1,807 per square foot — a 34 percent year-over-year jump.

“As we head into the New Year with a new mayor and with retail and commercial activity also trending upward, the residential ecosystem is primed for continued growth into 2022,” said Marketproof CEO Kael Goodman, who authored the report.
As usual, Manhattan led the five boroughs in deals. Its 204 contracts reported in December represented a 71 percent jump from pre-pandemic levels, but an 11 percent decrease from November. The two most expensive deals were at Legion Investment Group’s 109 East 79th Street, where a pair of penthouses that went into contract were asking $35 million and $29.8 million, respectively

Meanwhile, the pens practically ran out of ink at Extell’s One Manhattan Square, where 20 contracts were signed. Notable closings included a penthouse duplex at Extell’s 1010 Park Avenue for $32.7 million and penthouse at Shibumi Development’s 601 Washington Street for $31 million.

Brooklyn notched 128 new development contracts, a 45 percent increase from December 2019. The median unit had an asking price of $1.2 million, or $1,309 per square foot.

In Queens, activity fell by a third month over month, but remained 190 percent above pre-pandemic levels. Skyline Tower, Risland US Holdings’ 67-story behemoth in Long Island City, drew both the most contracts, with 17, and the most expensive contract in the borough, for a unit asking just under $2 million.

Numbers may be slightly down as the holidays left fewer days for dealmaking, but there’s little reason for developers to fret, according to Goodman.
“Numbers are still really elevated, and we can expect it to continue,” he said.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
What projects can you think of noticably absent from this list? I don't think City Point or Manhattan Square ever made it (considering the size of the projects). I also wonder how 1 Wall St is actually doing?

These buildings were the best-selling new developments of 2021​

Buyers spread across the city, with huge volume on Manhattan’s southern tip​

New developments flew off the shelf last year, but with so many residences popping up across the city, it’s hard to know what buildings are driving the boom.
The Real Deal has ranked the top ten selling new developments of 2021 using new data compiled by Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing.

Buyers signed 1,945 contracts last year for an average price of $4.2 million. That adds up to $8.17 billion in sales volume, with roughly $1 billion coming in December alone. In all, Manhattan’s new development signings jumped 105 percent from 2019, with sales volume up around 180 percent from the last pre-pandemic year.

In a notable departure from previous years, no one neighborhood dominated last year’s leaders. The city’s biggest deals are typically concentrated in the corridors of power along Madison Avenue and Billionaire’s Row, but last year spread the wealth.
Buyers flocked to developments in Downtown Manhattan like Lightstone’s 130 William Street and Iliad Realty Group’s 67 Vestry, as 30 percent of new development contract dollars landed south of 14th Street. Another 19 percent settled into new towers on the Upper East and Upper West Side, as 200 Amsterdam and 200 East 83rd Street brought tall living to the tony enclaves.

Miki Naftali, who boasted that New York wasn’t dead during the pandemic, backed his confidence up with cash. His development at 200 East 83rd led the way in new developments, signing 58 contracts with a last asking volume of $422.6 million.
AddressSales volumeContracts signed
200 East 83rd Street$422,600,00058
217 West 57th Street$371,983,46826
200 Amsterdam Avenue$332,021,50046
515 West 18th Street$303,712,98274
109 East 79th Street$303,030,00019
15 East 30th Street$295,940,00085
378 West End Avenue$258,905,00026
15 Hudson Yards$258,177,45040
130 William Street$218,202,65881
67 Vestry Street$204,965,00012
A notable mention goes to 300 West in Harlem, which signed 106 contracts last year. While its total sales volume didn’t get it into the top ten, it’s the only new development to crack three-digit signings last year.

Two caveats: The vast majority of new developments report their contracts. But some, like One Wall Street and 111 West 57th, don’t publicly report their contracts so they couldn’t be included on the list. Additionally, the contracts report last asking price, not the closing price, so actual sales volumes are likely lower than the sum of their last asks.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
This week way down from Fall peak weeks.
This week's New Development Report from Sotheby's Kevin Brown Team. These are huge numbers for December. unnamed(33).jpg
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member

The Collective unloads Williamsburg dev site to avoid foreclosure​

Loketch, Joyland and Meral buy 555 Broadway for $54M​

Bankrupt co-living company The Collective sold its Williamsburg development site for $54 million, allowing it to avoid foreclosure and even net a small amount of cash.
A joint venture of the Loketch Group, the Joyland Group and Meral Property Group bought the site at 555 Broadway. The Collective had planned to build a 500-unit apartment building there.

The co-living firm, currently under control of a receiver in the U.K., used proceeds from the sale to pay off a $49 million mortgage held by the Kalikow family’s Gamma Real Estate, which had scheduled a foreclosure auction for the property next month.

Loketch Group founder Pinny Loketch said in a statement that the “transit-oriented site … enables us to accommodate strong demand for superior-quality rental apartments in Williamsburg.”

A representative for The Collective could not be immediately reached.

The site, near Broadway Triangle, has about 330,000 buildable square feet and any qualifying project would be entitled to the Affordable New York property tax exemption.
The deal was a bit of a highwire act, as the buyers needed to move quickly so The Collective could repay Gamma before the foreclosure auction.
JLL’s Ethan Stanton, who led a team of brokers that negotiated the deal, said the tax program created a “clear pathway to build” that helped both sides close the deal in fewer than 60 days. A foundation must be laid by the program’s expiration on June 15 to qualify for the 35-year tax break; permits are in place.

The Collective, founded in 2010 by Reza Merchant, went into bankruptcy over the summer as a result of the Covid pandemic. Occupancy levels at its co-living locations dropped and the pandemic forced delays at its pipeline of projects.

The company’s net loss of 9.9 million pounds in 2019 jumped to 35.9 million in 2020, according to a report by FTI consultants, which have been appointed administrators of the company’s U.K. bankruptcy.
The Collective owns another Brooklyn development site, in Bed-Stuy. It is also facing foreclosure.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member
Deals for new condos cooled in January

After capping off 2021 with stratospheric sales, New York’s new development contract activity came back to earth in January.

Homebuyers signed contracts for homes in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens new developments asking a cumulative $760 million, down 28 percent from last month, according to Marketproof. Median price per square foot and unit price fell 8 percent and 12 percent month-over-month, respectively, and the number of contracts signed fell 13 percent from December to 313.

The number of deals was about the same as in January 2020, but prices are way above their pre-pandemic levels. Median price per square foot is up 16 percent from two years ago and median unit price is up 31 percent. Home prices surged across the country last year.

“I don’t think that anyone is expecting that record level of 2021 activity to continue forever,” Marketproof CEO Kael Goodman, who authored the report. “It’s not sustainable, and I think that’s what the January data is saying.”

As usual, Manhattan led the way with 150 contracts for homes asking a cumulative $515 million. The median condo asking price was $2.43 million, or $2,117 per square foot. The most expensive contract reported was for a five-bedroom asking $21.5 million at SJP and Mitsui Fudosan America’s 200 Amsterdam.

Billionaire’s Row lived up to its name, with a $47 million unit at Central Park Tower claiming the most expensive closing last month. The stretch of luxury highrises also saw major resale activity, with a $188 million sale closing at 220 Central Park South and Central Park Tower’s first resale.

Activity also picked up in the Financial District, a sign of recovery for the commercial hub that largely missed out on the rest of Manhattan’s hot year. The top-performing buildings by contract activity were One Wall Street, Greenwich West and One Manhattan Square, which each posted seven signings last month.

While activity was generally down, Brooklyn had slightly more contracts signed in January than in December. In all, the borough’s new developments saw 131 deals for homes last asking $213 million in aggregate. That breaks down to a median unit price of $1.2 million, or $1,346 per square foot.
 

David Goldsmith

All Powerful Moderator
Staff member

15 Central Park West developer to build $1B luxury tower in West Village​

Another “Limestone Jesus” — the popular nickname for 15 Central Park West — is poised to soon rise over the Hudson River downtown.
A joint venture partnership of Zeckendorf Development, builders of boldface-filled 15 CPW, and Atlas Capital Group have just signed a hush-hush contract to purchase 570 Washington St. — a 1.3-acre empty lot between Houston and Clarkson streets on the West Side Highway, sources told The Post exclusively.
The developers plan to erect a $1 billion-plus, roughly 36-story, super-luxury condo tower affording open river and skyline views, according to the sources. Apartments will be priced in the $5,000 per square foot range — unheard of for downtown.

“It’s s all but guaranteed to top every downtown sale price record. The Zeckendorfs plan to replicate their uptown luxury standard,” one source said.

Residents at 15 Central Park West include or have included Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Hollywood’s Robert De Niro and Denzel Washington, and athletes Alex Rodriguez and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
The Washington Street location at the juncture of the West Village and Soho is immediately north of Google’s planned complex in the St. John’s Terminal building at 550 Washington St. and overlooks Pier 40 in the Hudson River.
It wasn’t immediately known how much Zeckendorf and Atlas are paying current site owner Westbrook Partners. The purchase is expected to close within a few months.

Arthur Zeckendorf Arthur Zeckendorf, seen here, and his brother are scions of the real estate developer William Zeckendorf Jr., who died in 2014.WireImage
No brokers were involved, the sources said. The buyers are said to have out-dueled Gary Barnett’s Extell, Steve Roth’s Vornado and Miki Naftali’s Naftali Group for the site.
Details regarding the planned tower are sparse. But sources said it will rise to about 400 feet, nearly three times the height Tribeca’s 70 Vestry St. where some condo units sold for $4,600 per square foot.
The Vestry project was designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern, who also designed Zeckendorf’s 15 Central Park West and Billionaires Row project 520 Park Ave. It wasn’t known whether Stern would also work on 570 Washington St., however.
The Zeckendorf firm is headed by Arthur Zeckendorf, his son Artie Zeckendorf and brother William Lie Zeckendorf.
Atlas, founded by Jeffrey A. Goldberger and Andrew B. Cohen, develops and manages properties across the U.S. It bought Brooklyn’s Denizen apartment complex last year for $506 million in cash.
Neither Zeckendorf Development nor Atlas Capital Group principals responded to e-mail requests for comment.
 
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