Brooklyn Building Tabbed ‘2010’s Best Selling’ Now 100 Percent Sold
- Aug 22, 2011
By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer
The once-stalled condominium structure Property Shark anointed as “Best Selling Building of 2010,” Brooklyn’s be@schermerhorn, is now 100 percent sold.
But the tale of be@schermerhorn, which authored what some call “one of New York City’s most successful real estate turnaround stories,” didn’t lack for unexpected plot twists along its way to fully-sold status.
“As the project was originally envisioned, it was seen as a hip, young, edgy concept in keeping with the way New York buildings were being marketed in 2007,” Michael Phillips, managing director of Atlanta-based Jamestown Properties, one of the development’s original investment partners, tellsMHN.
“We retooled the interior finishes and repositioned the building as more of a humble, but elegant, product that would appeal to a broad constituency, based on light, air, views and adjacency to great Brooklyn neighborhoods, as well as proximity to Manhattan due to its nearness to main subway lines.”
During this period, Jamestown Properties bought the debt from a consortium of banks led by Wachovia (now part of Wells Fargo), and took over development from original developer SDS Procida Development Company in 2009. Working with its development company subsidiary Green Street, Jamestown Properties completed the building for a successful sell-out that began in 2010, Phillips says.
The setting of the 25-story, 245-unit residence tower at 189 Schermerhorn St. in downtown Brooklyn has proven to be a key to its success, according to Phillips.
“There’s a great energy about downtown Brooklyn,” he says.
“[Buyers] like the fact that the people on the front desk are very friendly, and there’s no artifice to the building. It’s not just a value play. It embodies a lot of the characteristics people like about living in Brooklyn, as opposed to Manhattan. And it also offers the amenities of high-rise living adjacent to great brownstone neighborhoods. That adjacency to the urbanness of Brooklyn and the quaintness of Brooklyn Heights is part of the magic at be@schermerhorn.”
Other than what Phillips calls the “post-Lehmann environment that had banks slowing down,” and a 12-month shutdown while the interior finishes were retooled, the project went comparatively smoothly. “We had an unbelievable sales team in Corcoran,” Phillips says. “Aaron Lemma and Frank Castelluccio headed the sales, and they were unbelievable.
“We were very much in sync, and they pulled together a team of eight brokers who sold this building. [The team] was highly representative of the constituency that bought into this building, very diverse ethnically.”
As well, Jamestown’s Green Street team performed an invaluable service “punching out the units,” and providing post-closing support to homeowners. “An often-overlooked but central component in construction, selling and move-in is managing the customer service portion of new residents’ needs,” Phillips says.
What’s ahead for Jamestown Properties? The company is undertaking an adaptive reuse project slated for Atlanta, and another project soon to step off in Miami. Says Phillips: “Nationally, we’re focused on rethinking multifamily, and what multifamily should look like, for the next decade.”