October 07, 2015 08:00AM
By Konrad Putzier
With dozens of luxury condo towers under construction, New York’s skyline is in flux. And so are developers’ finances.
Almost $12 billion of apartment deals are under contract at the 15 biggest luxury developments under construction where sales have launched, according to figures compiled by The Real Deal from listings data firm On-Line Residential. That’s $11.7 billion of sales that haven’t closed – in some cases several years after signing.
A prolonged wait between signing and closing is hardly unusual for new developments, since construction has to near completion before a temporary certificate of occupancy can be issued. A sign of success in many ways, the large volume of units under contract also highlights the uncertainty condo developers are dealing with, and the risks they face if the market suddenly turns and buyers have second thoughts. For buyers, waiting years for an apartment in a market where existing units often sell in weeks requires patience.
Rudin Management and Global Holding’s Greenwich Lane leads the pack with 181 units under contract totaling $1.4 billion, according to a spokesperson for the project. The West Village project’s condo filing plan was declared effective in February 2014 and its current sellout figure is $1.7 billion – meaning the developers have almost met their target for the 199-unit building.
Alexico Group’s 56 Leonard Street had its offering plan declared effective a month earlier, in January 2014, and it has also sold almost all of its units. Work on the tower began in 2007, but was halted for several years in the aftermath of the financial crisis until the developers finally secured a construction loan from Bank of America in 2013. The 145-unit tower is scheduled to open next year, and has 142 apartments under contract for a total of $1.12 billion, according to OLR.
Among the newer offerings, SR Capital’s 551 West 21st Street has found quick success with buyers. The building is Scott Resnick’s first major project since leaving his family’s company, Jack Resnick & Sons. The offering plan was approved this March, and Resnick has already sold most of its units. “I’m certainly sleeping well at night, knowing that I am contracted for 80%,” he told the Wall Street Journal in May. According to OLR, 28 out of 44 units are under contract for a total of $400 million – close to the current sellout of $464 million.
The ranking comes with caveats: some developments have several closed sales, which are not reflected here, meaning it is by no means a ranking of sales success. And two prominent developments, 220 Central Park South and 432 Park Avenue, do not have any units under contract listed on OLR. In the case of 432 Park, TRD pulled a figure of $869.7 million from StreetEasy listings data, but sources close to the project say the real figure is likely much higher. In April, the Observer reported that the tower is 70 percent sold.