Manhattan Condo Building Re-Launches
- May 11, 2010
Eugene Gilligan, Contributing Writer
New York–A Manhattan condo building, 650 Fifth Avenue, a luxury pre-war loft conversion located in the former Ladies’ Mile section of the Flatiron district, has been relaunched as The Cammeyer, with CORE as the new exclusive sales and marketing team.
The firm has taken a new direction in marketing for The Cammeyer, named for the builder, reflective of the glory days of the Ladies’ Mile District. Once home to fashion icons such as Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor, Tiffany and Co, Ladies’ Mile has undergone a renaissance in recent years, by virtue of its location near boutique shopping and fine dining, the Chelsea Piers and other entertainment and recreational options.
Fredrik Eklund, managing director of CORE, says that eight new contracts have been executed recently, and he is working on more.
The building was originally constructed in 1892, and is a former shoe store, likely the world’s largest at the time, Eklund says. Penterium, the residential real estate development arm of Kumkang Housing Corp., has preserved the white stone pilasters and entablature, red brick Corinthian columns and arches and hand-turned wrought-iron characteristic of the Beau-Arts architectural style.
One of CORE’s major strategies, which has been marketing the building for about two months, is to highlight the building’s rich history through new brochures and a revamped website. Prices have been lowered for the condominiums, about 15 percent, on average. Also, buyers are now being offered a greater choice of color schemes in the apartments, Eklund says.
Located at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 20th Street, The Cammeyer, which houses 67 loft condominiums, is bordered by the Hudson River to the west and Fifth Avenue to the east. The building’s entrance is also located across the street from one of Manhattan’s landmarks—the 19th Century church that once housed the Limelight nightclub—that has been reborn as the Limelight marketplace, with 35 upscale boutiques and restaurants.
Jeffrey Levine, chairman of Douglaston Development and Levine Builders, who has developed numerous condominiums in Manhattan, says that there has been, on average, a 20 percent downward correction in price on a two-bedroom, doorman-serviced condominium in Manhattan from 2006 to now, but that pales in comparison to markets in Florida and Arizona, which has seen prices dive by about 40 percent. The difficulty of both obtaining building permits and financing has had a major negative impact on Manhattan’s condo supply growth, thus preventing a more severe price correction.
“There’s a lack of new product,” Levine says.
He also says that the projected number of job losses that were once projected to ravage the financial services industry has not taken place, and some professionals have found other areas of the industry to ply their trade, such as distressed assets. Also, while other areas of the country are now looking to replace lost manufacturing jobs, New York has successfully done that. Noting that the city once was the home to huge garment and printing industries in the 1960s, those jobs have been replaced over time with those in high-tech, media and financial services, Levine says.
Many buyers at The Cammeyer work in advertising, fashion and financial services, Eklund says, and noted that more international buyers are now re-entering the market, particularly from Europe and Asia.
“They believe that the worst is behind us,” he says.
The residences at The Cammeyer feature 12-foot-high ceilings, oversized loft windows, open kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms and cast-iron decorative columns. The apartments range in size from studios to one-, two- and three bedroom penthouses, from 700 square feet to 2,035 square feet, with prices starting at $845,000.
Other amenities include a 3,600-square-foot landscaped rooftop, a gym with Cybex equipment, a fully-staffed on-site management team, and a 24-hour doorman. Additionally, the building boasts on-site storage spaces of up to 150 square feet that are included in the purchase price of each residence.