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This is a little FiDi development that I've just recently begun to follow. All indications on SE is that it is fairly stable, as most of the units are closed AND owner occupied. So, what's their secret when all these other high-end FiDi developments are failing miserably? (e.g., 20 Pine, William Beaver House, etc.). Do they have the right price point, in this market?!? I saw that they had a 2 bdrm. 2 btrm (A unit) close for under $900k, back in April.
To me, seems like a good deal. $750/sq. ft. for a 2 bdrm, 421G tax abatement for 14 years, and 90% sold and occupied. So, what am I missing with this place?!? Pls. don't bring up the lack of a W/D hookup because none of the places in FiDi seem to have viable W/D b/c they are CONVERSIONS.
My opinion is that be@w has done well because it was able to have closings start before the downturn got too serious. While the finishes are not nearly as nice as many other buildings in the area, it offered people the chance to buy a large apartment for a lot less money than the high-end buildings in the area. For those who aren't concerned about the high-end finishes, it was good deal. I have a feeling that if many of the half-vacant buildings in FiDi had been completed 18 months ago, they wouldn't be having so many problems.
downtown1234 - so you're saying be@w is all about timing?!? Also, what is all this about "high-end finishes?" The place seems to have fairly nice finishes (e.g., hardwood floors, SS appliances, etc.). Are you talking about Sub-Zero or Wolf or Viking?!? Because I have all that crap in my apartment, and it all cost less than $16k to purchase and install. At $750/sq. ft., if I spend another $20k, that still puts me less than $800/sq. ft., for a 2 bdrm./2 bthrm. Or are you talking about a better gym or lounge area?!?
I don't mean to put you on the spot, but it seems people throw around this term "high-end finishes" all the time, but nobody really says what that actually means. I guess I understand that this condo had better timing than the rest, but it seems also to have a more suitable price point, for this economy.
I suppose my question is whether there are any other detractions in this development?!?
I looked at be@w and while the finishes were fine, they were were not nearly as nice as most other new condos. It's more than just buying a sub-zero. For example, I recall that the hallways had plain grey carpet, the bathrooms had simple white tile, the fixtures were simple, etc. If you have convinced yourself the be@w is as nice as other builidings (75 Wall, WBH, Setai, district, etc), then good for you, but there is a reason be@w is $750/sq foot and 75 Wall, WBH, Setai, and others are well over $1000-$1100/sq foot. be@w is a fine building, especially if space is important to you, but I doubt anybody can argue with a straight face that the apartments are anywhere as nice as other new developements.
downtown1234: my point isn't to argue "that the apartments (be@w) are anywhere as nice as other new developments." My point is that be@w is comparable to those other developments, based on what I have seen ... and all that stuff about "high end finishes," I am trying to figure out why anyone would pay $50, $100, or more per sq. ft. for apartments in FiDi that have items in there that can be upgraded for less than the additional cost.
All those things you mentioned, simple white tile in the bathrooms, Sub-Zero, Viking, carpet, wallpaper, etc., etc., etc., can all be replaced for less than $50k. Said differently, I could purchase a 1,200 sq. ft. apt. at 90 William St. for $750/sq. ft. and pay another $50k to rennovate the whole damn thing with the most high end appliances and fixtures, and still come in at $800/sq. ft. - far below 20 Pine, 15 Broad, William Beaver, etc. My point is why would people pay the extra for things that could be changed for a whole lot less than paying for the developer to do it?!?
I guess my ultimate point was that perhaps the people at be@w have the pricing structure correct, and that places in FiDi all should probably cost closer to the $800/sq. ft. mark that be@w has set? But definitely not anything over $1,000/sq. ft. that those other places are asking for, esp. when all we're talking about are appliances.
The short answer is in RE is "you get what you pay for". You can't spend $50,000 and make a $750,000 worth $1,100,000. be@w is less expensive than other new developments because throughout the apartment (and common areas) they have used lower quality finishes (not bad, just lower quality, or at least less expensive). That doesn't make it at all bad, just different. Some people would rather pay $750,000 and get 1100 sq ft 2 bedroom with lower quality finishes at be@w while others would rather pay $750,000 and get a studio with very high-end finishes. Neither are bad choices - just different. I think virtually everybody would agree that it's not that be@w has the pricing right and every other condo in FiDi has it wrong, but if you have convinced yourself that you bought a 2 bedroom at be@w for $750,000, spent $50,000 on upgrades and now have an apartment that is similar to a 2 bedroom at 75 Wall, Setai, or whatever, then good for you (no sarcasm intended) but I can assure you virtually nobody else would think that.
The building might be stable but 90% of the owners are underwater. I hope they do not have to sell anytime soon.
This was one of my favorites downtown--good size apts for the price, the problem for me was they were mostly very dark facing into a bldg right across the street--that can be a problem when resale time comes
Check out our thoughts on 90 William here:
Also, just a few additional things:
- of all of the "comparable" FiDi new construction buildings, 90 William is the smallest. It only has around 110 units, so getting to the mostly sold mark is much easier here than it is at say a 20 Pine or a William Beaver House, which EACH have close to 400 units. WBH sold 26 units from March to May alone. Is that a sign of health? Maybe.
- I do agree that the finishes at 90 William look pretty cheap (the apartments remind us of an IKEA showroom) but I also agree with you that you can replace them without incurring a ton of cost. The bigger issue, as Mjh1962 notes, is that most lines have zero light. 90 William has a similar issue to many FiDi buildings in that it faces...buildings but it has even more problems in that the buildings that it faces are VERY close to 90 William and also the facade of those buildings is basically black, which means there is no reflective light either. The "A" and "B" lines (which actually face William St) are the only ones that get light and we agree are actually bargains based on comps.
If you're looking for space and you don't care about anything else, 90 William is hands down the best building in FiDi. Other dark "space" oriented buildings (like 99 John) are priced higher and probably have slightly worse finishes. So net-net we're kind of neutral on 90 William :)
"WBH sold 26 units from March to May alone. Is that a sign of health? Maybe."
Well, William Beaver closed on 26 units that went into contract lord knows how long ago. They didn't make the top-10 list of contracts signed March-May, so that means there were 4 new sales at the most. I'd call that unhealthy.
evrytime I see the beaver I always wonder " when are they gonna take the yellow strips off?" then I wonder..who would ever wanna live in such a lame area
many people want to live in that "lame area" with beautiful architecture as opposed to whatever crappy assnneighborhood you live in.
A couple of things--I work in real estate, bought and live at 90 William. I thought it was a good deal when I signed a contract over 2 years ago, and still think it's one of the best deals in the city. Agree with much of what has been posted here, but wanted to add a few things. Finishes--I don't think they are cheap, and certainly not the 100-150psf cheaper than other finish choices, or those use in other comparable developments. The cabinetry is white lacquer, with nice knife edge pulls and touch-latch hardware--this is used in a high end developments all over the city. If it's not your thing or your prefer wood veneer, that is difference in taste. For me, it created a nice backdrop on which to add my own style. The floors are solid white oak, not engineered. Again, not a particularly cheap option. The bath has stone floors, and white subway tiles. The bathtubs aren't that nice--shallow and look inexpensive. Overall, I think the apartment finishes get a bad rap. The AC systems could be better--the console units at the windows look cheap, even if they work fine.
The lobby also isn't that nice--or it looks like they didn't spend much money there, compared to others. Again, it depends on what is important to you. I know that it will become a priority down the road to update the lobby, but it serves its purpose right now. The fitness room is fine, if small, and the lounge is pretty nice, as is the roof terrace w/ a nice Viking grill. The spaces there are well-used and enjoyed by the building--creating a congenial atmosphere at the roof, where everyone can enjoy a great view.
And yes, the units that don't face William Street are dark, which definitely affects value. But I work all day, and thus this wasn't that big of a deal to me. The plants in my windows are doing just fine.
Lastly, we are probably under-water if we had to sell now, but who isn't that bought in the last 3 years? I am in the process of refinancing to get a better rate, and while the process has been a bitch and I've had to get a second appraisal after switching banks, my unit just appraised for 35k more than I paid. I know that might mean v. little if I were trying to sell it, but it also means that relative to everything else in the neighborhood, we're not doing so badly.
Seems like be@w is dealing a lot on all lower fl. units (under $600k). IMHO, in this building, only the "A, B, and (maybe) C" units are worth a look.
The finishes in the units are fine, except for (like wlt6wlt6 noted) cheap ass bathtubs. When I went to look, the white actually works well for the dark and dingy FiDi. Makes the place look a lot brighter.
This seems to be a fairly stable project in FiDi. If there were more "A or B" units available to choose from, I would definitely give this place some serious consideration.
be@w's success, in my opinion, has to do not only w/ the smart pricing and the good timing, but also w/ the unit layouts. Many conversions like 88 Greenwich, 20 Pine, 75 Wall, etc. had to deal w/ GIANT floor plates, causing them to feature awkward and narrow units w/ a lot of unusable space.
The floor plate at be@w is narrow and long--which allowed them to create units with useful, open floor plans. If you look at the A, B, and C lines, you'd know what I mean (other lines are studios).
When I went to see their units, I noted good finishes, the TOTO toilets, GE Profile appliances, Liebherr fridges, and Watermark fixtures--all rather high end. So, I, too, am puzzled by their selection of the generic tubs... wlt6wlt6, also, I recently went to see it (again), and the lobby, I thought, was VERY nice! Sure, it's not the typical "dark wood" finish, but I loved the platinum feel, and I thought it was clever that they had etchings (?) of the bldg. history displayed.
By the way, did anyone see this (eblow)? Someone paid 1% more than asking in this climate! Whoa!!!
07/17/2009 #14G $917,000 +1.0% $908,000 ↑ Sold
anyone know if the retail space in this building has been leased out yet? and who is occupying the space?
Blue Spoon Coffee just opened downstairs. Haven't been yet.
DG Neary Realty
Open House #14G (Convert 2-BR, 2 BA) 12:30-2:30.
Rather than inappropriately advertising on the talk pages, why don't you work on having the open house show up on SE? I think that's how most open house clients tend to decide how to fill out their Sunday browsing. Right now, nothing shows up for your listing.
Nada, this is an SE problem. The open house was scheduled days ago (and it doesn't look like the problem is my computer system, since it's been picked up by the Times).
Not trying to be inappropriate, but SE can be slow to update, and in the service of my seller, trying to put information where customers can find it.
Already got one email from a SE customer about the OH so obviously this info is useful to someone. Apologies if it offended you.
DG Neary Realty
Have you pinged SE on the problem? Seems like an easy bug for them to track down.
Does anybody here know the bldg. well?
I ask because, given the price advantage, I am not excluding FiDi from my current search--and I have seen a couple of units at 90 William sometime ago.
Unfortunately, I don't always hear good things about this bldg., and several people have mentioned the questionable construction quality, the lack of insulation, general hardware problems, issues with mice, etc. etc. When I visited, a guy (who was presumably an owner there) even told me to run the other way, fast, because the board had retained an attorney for a probable lawsuit. Maybe he was exaggerating? Has anybody here heard anything? There hasn't been much discussion here, so I just wanted to ask.
Any info would be much appreciated. The pricing is definitely attractive...but...
I represent, as noted above, a unit that is for sale in the building.
There is currently an assessment (which runs through next spring) as the board is building a war chest for a lawsuit. This assessment is mentioned in our firm's ads for the unit we're selling (which, as you can see from the discussion above, aren't being updated by SE as quickly as I would like), and I told every single person who showed up at my open house yesterday about the lawsuit, so it isn't exactly something that's a giant secret.
The allegations are basically everything but the kitchen sink, without a great deal of specifics, so it is up to you as a potential purchaser to determine how much of a cloud you think that puts over the condominium, and whether you feel comfortable with that level of risk.
If the behavior of others means anything to you, there appear to have been four closings so far in 2012. If it's construction quality that concerns you, I think the best source of information is to come check out the building for yourself.
I'm certainly happy to show 14-G if you want to ping me. I just need 24-hour notice.
ali [at] dgneary [dot] com
Ali, I appreciate your honesty. Also, I am so sorry to have asked this question in this public forum--as it was not my intention to interfere with anybody's efforts to sell/buy!
It is a nice bldg. with one of the most stylish lounges I have seen in the FiDi new constructions/conversions, and I really like the G-line apartments there! I was also impressed with their door staff. They were very courteous and helpful when I visited. There are so many good things about the bldg.
I think the pricing and the low monthlies may definitely compensate for the issues that may or may not arise. Thanks and sorry, Ali.
>not my intention to interfere with anybody's efforts to sell/buy!
Creating transparency and sharing true information is not something you should apologize for.
FWIW, #14G has a contract out and is now showing FOR BACKUP ONLY. Apologies that the listing appears twice (and looks like it's available both times). There's apparently a technical glitch that my firm has been working with SE for some time now.
#14G sold and closed more than a week ago. Apologies to all who are still seeing a ghost listing on streeteasy.