Stephen G. Kliegerman
President of Development Marketing
By Amanda Fung
In what remains a post-recession rarity in Manhattan, construction of a 34-unit luxury condominium in Chelsea began last week. Another will rise in a few months.
Anbau Enterprises, the developer of the first of those two projects, the 16-story condo at 124 W. 23rd St., has been sitting on the project for two years. The developer lined up its construction loan in 2008 just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers. In the end, Anbau's lender was very accommodating in letting the developer shelve the project for “a while,” according to Stephen Glascock, founder and principal of Anbau.
“When the market crashed, we decided not to move forward with the project,” said Mr. Glascock, adding that the project has been slightly modified from its original flashy plans to emphasize value.
“Six months ago we decided that the market was going in the right direction,” said Mr. Glascock. “We are excited and believe that this is the right time.”
The developer will begin marketing its condos early next year and has retained brokerage Corcoran Group as its exclusive marketing agent. Mr. Glascock expects the project to be completed by summer 2012. Pricing for the apartments has not been set, but Mr. Glascock is optimistic. “We believe there will be very little new inventory in the area and an increasing demand,” he said.
This is the first condo project Anbau has begun since the crash. Previously it developed 110 Central Park South, 120 W. 72nd St., and others.
Meanwhile, Alchemy Properties, in a rare fete in current market conditions, closed on a construction loan in November and began demolishing an existing building at 35 W. 15th St., where it plans to build a 58-unit condo. The foundation will be laid some time in April, according to Kenneth Horn, president of Alchemy Properties, who declined to disclose the terms of the loan.
Brokers say the two new projects will be welcome additions to the neighborhood. “Inventory is very miniscule in Chelsea,” said Stephen Kliegerman, executive director of development marketing at Halstead Property. “We need new inventory to meet demand here.” He has been marketing apartments at a 91-unit new development in West Chelsea dubbed +art, which was completed at the end of last year and is now about 50% sold.
“Construction is a good sign,” he added. “It means money is freeing up and people are feeling bullish about the market and taking risks again.”
Thursday, February 17, 2011