Developing property in Manhattan is anything but a straightforward process. Miles of red tape, financial issues, protests from neighbors and construction delays are par for the course, and setbacks are simply a part of the ordeal. Still, some buildings do seem to take an inordinate amount of time to come to fruition. Here are three properties hitting the market this spring that we have been waiting for with great anticipation.
After a drawn out conversion process that included no shortage of legal drama, the Printing House at 421 Hudson St. finally hit the market in March. The condo conversions have been in the works since 2011 but encountered numerous delays, including a lawsuit from a jilted bidder. Although this iconic West Village building was already partially residential, extensive renovations began last year to turn 105 one and two bedroom rentals into 60 loft-style condos. The new units are 1-4BRs, along with some townhouses and maisonettes with a private entrance between Leroy and Clarkson. The offerings range from $1.5 to $7 million in asking price.
As is the case with most buildings in the West Village, the Printing House has a good deal of history. Built in 1910 on land deeded to Trinity Church by Queen Anne of England, the Printing House was (as its name implies) dedicated to the printing trades. The building was originally converted to a residential loft rental building in 1979, and then to condominiums in 1987. Since then it has attracted an abundance of celebrities, and Tiger Woods is just one of many famous folks to take up residence.
The most recent conversion has (thankfully) left the Italian Renaissance Facade largely intact, and most of the renovations have been to the condos and common areas. In contrast to the buildings industrial history, this self-branded “Revolution in Industrial Luxury” has made every condo in the building entirely unique. Some luxurious features do come standard, however, like eleven-foot windows, double-height living rooms, and intelligent “Nest” thermostat technology.
For over a decade, the lot of the former Jefferson Theatre sat vacant. The unused space was the subject of so much speculation and rumor about new developments that it earned the moniker, “East Village Mystery Lot.” Of course, speculation is no longer necessary as the site was bought by Ironstate Development, who is working in conjunction with BSK Architects to develop the East Village’s newest condominium. The sales office is set to open in the Spring.
Like the Printing House, The Jefferson has a rich history, and its marketing team has not been shy in using it to attract buyers. The onsite ads are Vaudeville in nature, with posters boldly announcing, "On the site of New York's first Vaudeville theater, you can now live on a site once inhabited by W.C. Fields, Mae West, the Marx Brothers, Burns & Allen, Milton Berle and Jack Benny!" The Jefferson theater opened in 1913 and was operational until the 70s. During the heyday of Vaudeville, it was one of the premier theaters in NYC. The theater was converted to a cinema, and slowly trailed out of use, sitting empty for decades until it was demolished in 2000.
The contemporary luxury building will feature a library, fitness center, and private rooftop cabanas. The 83 condos themselves range from studio to three bedroom, with oversized windows and high ceilings coming standard. There aren’t many similar buildings in the area, so you can expect the units to sell at breakneck speed.
After Hurricane Sandy, the developers of 150 Charles Street found themselves with a partially flooded construction site. Developers implemented an entire series of additions to the project, including extensive waterproofing measures and two natural-gas powered generators for blackouts, the cost of which added $3 million to the project. Of course, this only delayed the project six weeks. Extensive protests from neighbors took the form of a Google Sketchup video, and when that failed, a lawsuit was filed by eleven neighbors against the Witkoff Group. The suit alleges that Witkoff was permitted to develop the building as an expansion of the existing warehouse, but the warehouse has actually been torn down.
As unpopular as the building is with neighbors, it’s having quite the opposite effect on potential buyers. Its founding principle of “low-key luxury” seems to have struck a chord, as the building is reportedly 75-percent sold one month after hitting the market. Of course, one wonders how “low-key” luxury can be when there are 10 mansions in addition to the 90 condos, three of which are in contract for $10 to $12.5 million. The rooms range from 1BR to 6BRs, making it a prime location for larger families.
The condos themselves come with the usual bevy of high-end amenities, like a state-of-the-art fitness center, entertainment lounges, 75’ pool, spa treatment room and 40,000 sq. ft of private landscaped green space. The location is tough to top, as there is easy access to the Hudson River Park, and higher-end apartments will have unbeatable views of the park and the river.