New York–Numerous new luxury condominium properties in Manhattan are experiencing relatively healthy sales activity, and Azure is among the latest to commence the closing of its first group of contracts. Recently completed by a joint venture consisting of the Queens, N.Y.-based Mattone Group and Elmont, N.Y.-based The DeMatteis Organizations, the 128-unit residential tower just welcomed its first move-ins and will soon see 30 contracts close.
Azure sits on the Upper East Side at 333 East 91st Street and encompasses residences ranging from 600-square-foot studios to 3,000-square-foot four-bedrooms, as well as two penthouses. The 34-story building also features a wide variety of highly coveted amenities designed to appeal to everyone from single professionals to families. A children’s playroom, game room, lounge and event space, private dining facility and fitness center account for an aggregate 6,300 square feet.
“Twenty-seven second quarter contracts set a record for Azure,” Ilan Bracha, managing director at Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate and founder of the brokerage firm’s luxury residential branch, The Bracha Group, noted in a prepared statement; Bracha Group is overseeing sales responsibilities at the property. “With seven additional contracts out for signature in the last month, we expect to see generous additional sales in the third and fourth quarter.” Bracha and the development team believe that a bevy of factors are compelling buyers to commit to Azure, including the new high-quality construction, move-in ready homes, and buyers’ potential to secure immediate financing through HSBC Mortgage Corp., which is offering financing at the property for as much as 80 percent of the loan value. Additionally, the team notes, there is the matter of options; the Upper East Side is not exactly overflowing with upscale, family-size condominium residences in newly developed buildings.
Price matters, too. The developers of Azure describe the pricing as competitive. According to The Bracha Group’s website, available 600-square-foot studios are being marketed at $520,000 and 1,800-square-foot three-bedroom units are carrying an initial price tag of just over $2.2 million. The asking prices are a far cry from those at some of the other newly completed luxury condominium buildings in Manhattan. At 456 West 19th Street in West Chelsea, a 22-unit property that just reached the 50 percent sales mark, some studios and penthouses are being marketed at $1.6 million and $6 million, respectively. The cost of buying at Cassa Hotel & Residences in Midtown can be $959,000 for a studio and $18 million for a penthouse. The marketing firm behind condo-hotel Trump SoHo New York, where prices start at $1.2 million, recently announced the closing on sales of over 20 residences totaling in excess of $30 million.
“Year-over-year as of June 30, condo prices in the Manhattan condo market have come back up 6 percent, but they are still 18.4 percent below peak prices in December 2008,” Quinn Eddins, director of research at real estate data and analytics company Radar Logic Inc., tells MHN. “There is still a lot of discounting going on. In July, we were still seeing prices being well below what they were when they were at their peak, and they seemed to be ticking downward, but we are fairly bullish about housing prices moving forward.”