Stephen G. Kliegerman
President of Development Marketing
Break-neck sales pace puts The 505 in class of its own
BY MAGGIE HAWRYLUK
Ian Reisner, managing partner of Park View Developers, knew Hell's Kitchen was warming up, but he didn't know that it would be as scorching hot as it is.
"I saw a huge migration of the gentrification specifiers to that area," he said. "It was the West Village in the '70s, Chelsea in the '80s and I realized that Hell's Kitchen would be the next Chelsea. I call it 'Helsea,' and it's all happened much quicker than I expected."
But Reisner's not complaining about this welcome surprise. Having sold 103 of 109 homes in the first few months of sales at The 505 — located between 47th and 48th Streets and 10th and 11th Avenues — and recently closing the sales office with just a handful of stragglers remaining, he is pleased with the investment he's made in the neighborhood — as should his buyers.
At $1,100 psf, buyers are getting the best of Manhattan at borough prices. "Hell's Kitchen was priced like Hell. It had the cheapest [floor to area ratio] in New York, and now it's appreciating," he said. "Why live in Williamsburg or Long Island City when, for a couple hundred more per square foot, you can live on the island of Manhattan?"
Located at 505 West 47th St., The 505 features 26 studios, 59 one-bedrooms, 12 two-bedrooms and 12 penthouses, all equipped with high quality finishes. Kitchens boast Italian-crafted cabinetry, Calcutta gold marble countertops and Bosch or Miele cook tops, and bath rooms offering elephant skin-patterned porcelain floors and marble countertops. Nearly half of the units feature terraces, balconies or private rooftop gardens, and all residents have access to the furnished rooftop terrace, courtyard garden and fitness center.
Once a bastion of working class Irish Americans and home to infamous bootleggers and a ma gangsters, the neighborhood helped inspire the movie West Side Story. Today, the mobsters have been replaced by actors and theater folk who want to live on Broadway's doorstep, as well as offices workers and families drawn to a plethora of new developments by builders who see Hell's Kitchen as a frontier to the ultimate development of the Far West Side of the city.
Commercial developers have also gotten in on the act. As if the lightening fast sales at The 505 weren't enough to prove Reisner's predictions, he points to the fact that VU, a $125 million four-star hotel with 222 rooms at 653 I I th St., is set to open in the upcoming months and Ogilvy & Mather is setting up its new headquarters at 636 11th Ave., bringing about 2,000 employees to the neighborhood.
"I have two validating factors right on my block," Reisner added. Staying true to the mantra of "If you build it, they will come," Hell's Kitchen is seeing a varied mix of buyers. Reisner said The 505 has attracted everyone from businesspeople who work in the area and beyond, to theater lovers and international buyers. "We have buyers from every part of the world," he said.
Reisner added that international buyers accountfor about a third of the mix — another surprise as he predicted a majority of buyers to hail from the gay and theater communities.
Despite the fact that all of his predictions didn't hit 100% on the mark, Reisner is more than pleased with the results. "I made this prediction, and I got more than I expected," he said.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008