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Saturday, July 18, 2009
Although we ran through a couple of units at Battery Park City new construction beauty 30 West Street (aka "Millenium Tower") back in May, we never wrote about our visit since it was a) brief and b) boring. Today, we decided to check back in with 30 West Street, a 100% sold Millenium Partners development (which also brought you the BPC Ritz-Carlton) that welcomed it's first residents back in 2006.
The unit that we decided to look back on is #32D, an 875 sq ft 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath that sold for just $699,000 about a month ago. Considering that the apartment was most recently listed for $775,000 and was purchased at the height of the market in May, 2007 for $900,000, we thought that $699k was a pretty good price. When we looked at other sales in the building however (which started closing in December 2006), we were even more surprised that not only is $699k a great price, it's also the lowest sales price that this building has ever seen on ANY UNIT .
The prior record holder was also a "D" line apartment on a much lower floor - #5D - that sold in 2006 for $710,000. So did we like this building when we saw it? Actually, yeah - it has nice common areas and the apartments that we saw (which both happened to be high-floor "D" lines) were very well laid-out, with attractive finishes, well-appointed large open kitchens, and a W/D in the unit. Oh, in case you're wondering about those seemingly low common charges (remember, this building is still in Battery Park), the common charges at 30 West St are sponsor-abated (good idea, good idea) for about 5 years. Currently the abatement is on Year 2, so the common charges on the apartment are actually just 40% of what they would be in Year 5 (they increment 20% per year).
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We have to admit that we have never liked the "yacht club" feel of 21 South End Avenue, with the odd wood and blue trim everywhere (including the hallways and the interior of many apartments). The listing for #227 looked really promising however on Streeteasy and as we are HUGE suckers for outdoor space, we were very much looking forward to seeing the enormous balcony/patio, which we thought looked kind of serene in the pictures with Hudson River views.
In reality, this unit is kind of hit or miss. On the "hit" side, we love the real staircase which compares quite favorably to the 1BR with a ladder that we saw two weeks ago in the East Village and the 1BR with a
On the "miss" side, the outdoor space basically looks on to the building across the street and not the Hudson River, which certainly makes it less serene. Also the kitchen is quite small and awkwardly laid out in a nook next to the living room. Everything in the apartment also looks quite dated (we can't tell if it's the yacht club color scheme or something else) and the maintenance/taxes are bordering on unmanageable at almost $2500 per month for essentially 850 sq ft or so of indoor space. Another uh uh for us in BPC - perhaps we should go back to our Battery Park CILF.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Although we haven't even reached Open House Sunday yet, we're pretty sure that this week's CILF (Condo we'd like to...woo woo) is the magnificent 333 Rector Place . We saw mostly 1BR, 1BA units priced between $630,000 - $810,000 (most were around $730,000 or so) - all in the 760 sq ft - 870 sq ft range. There are two "finishes" available for these units - the "Park" and the "River". The Park finish has darker floors, a kind of retrolicious white marble in the bathroom and a lighter wood on the cabinets/doors. The River is almost an exact mirror image, with lighter floors, dark marble in the bathroom, and a darker wood on the cabinets/doors.
All of the units that we saw had balconies and the southern facing units have direct water views. The fixtures look great and we loved the large, open layouts of the apartments. The amenities seemed fine although only the bar/library was finished enough to show.
The units here get significantly more expensive on the higher floors (there are 14 floors in the building) with only apartments higher than the 8th floor having any water views. Similar to 20 Pine and The Riverhouse, we now lust after One Rector Park (which we think of as The Riverhouse of the South) but we are of course concerned with the building's financials. Particularly given that Rector Square, which is located literally across the street, has filed for bankruptcy in a public shitstorm that might not go away for awhile.
One Rector Park tells us that the sales office has been open for about three weeks and that the building is 10% sold. They have "relationships" with some major lenders but those lenders require the building to be 50% in contract prior to allowing anyone to close (all cash buyers, whoever you are, you can close any damn time you want). Sooooo....that means that of the 174 or so units in this building, 17 are sold leaving an additional 70 units or so that have to go into contract before anyone can live there. Hmmmm....no transactions right now means fat chance you're moving into here anytime soon.
Oh and ummm...if you're a little light on your brunch budget these days, pop by their weekend open houses from 1-4PM. They have mimosas (yep), croissants, scones and you can even pocket some granola bars to go. PLUS they give you a cute tote. We love you 333 Rector.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Ah, Riverhouse. Similar to our obsession with 20 Pine, we cannot stop thinking about this development and covet the apartments there like a lost lover.
This building has (we think) the best location in Battery Park in an area (which we call BPC North) roughly parallel to TriBeCa. BPC North (which is the small strip north of the World Financial Center, west of the West Side Highway and south of Chambers) is located next to the best park (we think) in Lower Manhattan and has only one condo building: The Riverhouse. That is until (or if), Millstein ever gets Liberty Luxe built AND ends up selling those units instead of converting them to rentals, as rumor has it.
But we digress. Riverhouse is truly a spectacular development although anything even remotely (and it's remote in this economy) affordable here has an interior (often very ugly) view. The unit that we saw was a little "clone home" if you catch our drift, but the windows were big and the floors were beautiful as per the new construction usual. The view in this unit was indeed quite nasty, facing another piece of Riverhouse plus a garbage area.
Is Riverhouse subject to the woes of other downtown new construction? We're not sure...they tell us that they are about 75% sold and 50% occupied, which are much better numbers than the bankrupt 225 Rector Place, the "other" new construction in BPC. We haven't seen any recent price drops on #8B, although we got the feeling from the agent that they would drop about $100k on this unit if faced with an offer.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
This is a real 2BR 2BA (although it does have somewhat of an awkward layout) and as we mentioned in a prior post, we still think it's really difficult to make 900 sq ft into a 2BR.
With that said, this apartment has good "bones" (a creepy expression, but it gets the job done). The small living room has quite a pretty (small) window that has direct Hudson River views. Both the kitchen (especially the kitchen) and the bathroom need updating.
This apartment is one of those that doesn't "show well". There are stains on the walls, the floors are a mess, and the ceiling looks like it has some kind of water damage. We think renters live here and may not have been giving this place the love that it deserves.
Although $775k is a decent price in this location, the apartment's condition, tiny living room and high carrying costs (welcome to Battery Park) of over $2100 per month make this unit a big fat uh uh.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The first problem with this unit is that 30% of the apartments in this building (Liberty Court) are professionally managed (they have a leasing office down the street) rental units. When we were looking to rent in this area last year, I actually saw three rental units in this building through that leasing office.
The sales agent that showed us this apartment last week "skirted" the rental issue over and over again until I finally gave up asking. Overall, this apartment is really, really small and needs a major overhaul. On the bright side, the price is "very negotiable" and the outdoor space is TREMENDOUS. The balcony is much larger than in the ad and when you go out there, it's kind of like standing on a floating platform in the middle of manhattan. Truly spectacular.
We still wouldn't touch this no W/D, parquet floor mess for $550,000 (or even $350,000), but go check out that balcony!