During the boom years of the last decade, a host of new construction condos (and an impressive number of pre-war condo conversions, such as the Cipriani Club Residences) sprang up in the Financial District. What these new Financial District condo listings had in common -- besides locations in what is, for your blogger's money, the most interesting-looking neighborhood in Manhattan -- was a certain youthful, high-energy vibe. During the boomingest of the boom years, this meant that FiDi condo listings such as Be@William functioned as well-amenitized dorms for high-earning twentysomethings. But as the economy has cooled, the Financial District has grown up into a very different and much cooler place to live. After a recent infusion of cash that amounted to a soft transfer of ownership, it looks like William Beaver House -- a New Construction Manhattan favorite and one of the superstar Financial District apartment listings of the previous decade -- will get a shot to mature along with the neighborhood it helped put on the map.
Just a few months ago, that was far from a sure thing. Despite being one of the more impressive new construction condo listings in the Financial District, William Beaver House was struggling recently with a huge debt load and a large-ish number of unsold apartments. (It's worth mentioning that the spectacularly amenitized and hugely ambitious Beaver is a larger-than-average condo development at 334 units, which puts those unsold-apartment numbers into perspective somewhat) On Tuesday, the New York Post's Lois Weiss reported that Los Angeles-based real estate developers CIM laid out $60.66 million to purchase the debt carried by William Beaver's developers. Today, Weiss put that expenditure into context -- and revealed that it amounts to a soft ownership change in William Beaver House's management, with CIM essentially buying the 209 apartments currently for sale at William Beaver House.
Which, you know, is interesting enough on its own, but is it a good thing? For The William Beaver House, and thus for the Financial District condo scene, the answer seems to be yes. Real estate trends are real estate trends, and thus can't really be bargained with, but The William Beaver House is one of the marquee condo listings in the Financial District, and there's no reason in the world why it shouldn't eventually bounce back -- with price chops or not, this year or next or some time after. If new management is what it takes, then so be it -- the value is there at The William Beaver House, and CIM has a good shot to realize it as the condo market continues its slow, steady recovery. The FiDi condo scene without The William Beaver House just wouldn't quite seem right. It's nice to know that such a future doesn't seem to be in the offing.