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Any comments on this conversion?
can't believe that people are actually looking at this white brick monstrosity - lipstick on a dirt-ugly pig - at the prices they are asking. $1400-$2000+/sf is what I heard. For those prices, you can do so MUCH better.
But, there is a sucker born in NYC every day...
I lived in a 1 bed rental at Manhattan House until I bought a coop about 4 years ago. How can they possibly be asking over $1.5 million for cookie cutter, 1950s vintage, white brick 1 bedroom apartments with low ceilings and no views? 4 years ago, you could rent a 1 bed there for around $3000 a month and 2 bedrooms for not much more than that. While nice for a rental, this was not a luxury building. The building has aways been plagued with floods due to old plumbing - in my 4 years there I endured 3 floods that each required the floors to be replaced. The building also has a problem with water coming through the famous white brick exterior walls and causing the plaster and paint in the apartments to bubble. It seems that there has always been some problem with the pointing that they have never been able to fix. Hard to believe that in this market people are going to pay north of $1,500 per square foot for a Class B building on third avenue in the 60s. Most of its neighbors of the same vintage sell for between $800 - $1,000 per square foot (excluding the ultra-luxury Bristol and Chatham condos).
I think the buyers of the building paid over a 1000 per square for the building.
I went to see the models. They are doing a nice job on the interiors, but the building is a monster, too large and yes, the views are not very nice even on high floors. Plus, they do still have about 1/3 occupied by rent stab. renters. My guess is they are hoping for foreigners to buy them.
I also went to see the models last week. Agree that they've done a nice job with the cosmetics, but the building systems have not been updated. They have not updated the original 1950s heating plant and pipes (that leak and flood the apartments on a regular basis). In addition, I noticed that they have not replaced the old elevators. I wonder what is going to happen to the common charges when these items need to be replaced, as they will in the near future. I can't figure out why they are pricing this building so far above market - as mentioned by Cooper above, this building isn't the Chatham - it is more similar to 201 E 66th across 66th Street, where apartments sell for half of the Manhattan House asking prices and monthly carrying costs are also half. How is what the buyers paid relevant to what the apartments are worth?
There was a fire at the Manhattan House today. I saw firetrucks and ambulances lined up and down East 66 Street late this morning. A fireman told me that a fire had broken out in connection with the renovations going on in the building.
didn't this building just get landmarked this week . . . ugh.
Yes, this white brick eyesore was landmarked yesterday. There's no accounting for taste. So much for the owners plans to build a new tower on the roof, hehe.
I currently rent in the East 60s and have recently begun looking to buy a 2 bedroom in the neighborhood. I had heard that Manhattan House was being converted and today I checked out the prices and floorplans on the Douglas Elliman website. I can't believe the prices! They want over $2 million for the cheapest 2 bed, 2 bath with a dining L - and the monthly charges are over $2,200 per month. Has anyone had any experience negotiating the prices down when purchasing sponsor units in a conversion - seriously down, like 30% to 40% below asking? I just don't see how they can be making any sales at those prices, and the market isn't getting any stronger.
The one bedrooms don't seem to be an awful deal, if you don't mind living in a white box building. The reality is that they paid $635 million for 590 (roughly) apartments and then had to spend a couple of hundred (probably) per square foot to bring them into this decade. Having said that, the large apartments listed in this complex are in the 4-6 million range. I think that whether or not there is any room for negotiation depends on: the percentage of the building that consists of the larger units and how well they sell, how leveraged the developer is, and (obviously) what happens to the market in the next couple of months. They've only released a little over 10% of the building. They are going to have a long haul, I think, turning this into a viable condo building when there is new construction available at the same or less per square foot. (Which is something you might want to consider (condo viability) when purchasing).
I think they need to get a certain number of contracts signed before the end of the year to meet certain financial goals on the project. Our broker said they are definitely discounting the asking prices for people that are 'ready to go now' more like 10 - 20% than 40%. Anyway, if you have a good broker, they should be able to help you negotiate if you think you would like to live there.
What would happen in the case of a failed conversion or if you bought a unit, but then the banks take over the building from the developer?
Well, many things could happen, none of them pretty. On a very basic level, post-closing, you're stuck, at least in the short term, depending on what the banks want to do. Most purchasers wouldn't touch such a unit for resale with a ten-foot pole, plus if the bank elects to keep the remaining units as rentals, you may find yourself in a position where at some point banks won't give a mortgage to resale purchasers. Pre-closing, most offering plans allow the developer to cancel your contract if they wish, so at the best you may get your money back and start looking again.
There are many buildings, both conversion and new construction, coming up that may have sales percentage, owner-occupied percentage, and bank re-payment issues.
Be very careful with buildings that have not sold at least 50% to owner-occupiers. There's enough out there that most people can wait until a development is viable, without worrying about not getting a unit or prices increasing.
The Real Deal Article:
December 3, 5:20 pm
Manhattan House evictions dismissed
A housing court judge has dismissed eviction proceedings against a group of tenants at the famed Manhattan House building on the Upper East Side, a decision that could set back one of the biggest condo conversions in the city's history.
Manhattan House tenants had argued that after the new owners bought the luxury rental complex for a record $625 million in 2005, they failed to renew the leases of hundreds of tenants. Lawyers also argued that the new owners offered bogus renewal leases for at least 11 tenants by asking for excessive rent hikes or lease terms of less than six months.
"The lease offerings were at exorbitant rates that were designed to intimidate and demean us," said Dr. Douglas Altchek, a long-time Manhattan House resident and a plaintiff in the case. "I was never offered a lease, but was told to get out 12 days after my lease expired."
In late October, Manhattan House put more than 70 apartments on sale, with some listing for more than $6 million. The building has 196 rent-stabilized tenants, 58 market rate tenants, 327 vacant apartments and a resident manager, according to the Manhattan House Tenants Group. A total of 31 units have been renovated.
Judge David Cohen ruled on Nov. 28 that the 31 market-rate tenants at the landmark apartment complex were protected from eviction under the Martin Act, a state law that regulates the conversion of residential rental buildings into condominiums. The tenants' attorneys learned of the decision today.
Manhattan House officials declined comment.
According to court records, the owners submitted a non-eviction offering plan to state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in February 2006. Under a non-eviction plan, tenants cannot be evicted for failure to buy their apartments, and must be allowed to continue as rent-paying tenants, according to the attorney general's website.
Judge Marc Finkelstein denied a motion to dismiss the case on March 23. By the end of March, Cuomo's office approved the non-eviction plan to convert Manhattan House from a rental building to a condominium.
However, a long-running dispute between the owners Jeremiah O'Connor and Richard Kalikow delayed the conversion until October, when O'Connor bought out Kalikow and secured $750 million in financing from Germany-based HSH Nordbank AG to continue the conversion.
Cohen ruled that the landlord could not justify an eviction because there were no other qualifying causes, such as failure to pay rent or failure to grant access to the apartment.
"Here, the only basis for the eviction of these tenants is the fact that their lease terms have expired and have not been renewed," Cohen wrote. "Consequently, respondents are protected from 'no cause' holdover eviction proceedings by the Martin Act."
The ruling echoes a similar decision by Cohen in March, when he dismissed eviction proceedings against 23-market rate tenants at Sheffield57 (formerly The Sheffield), on West 57th Street.
"If it's upheld by the appellate court, it certainly will have a significant impact on the rights of landlords to come into a building with a significant amount of market-rate tenants and simply clear the building out and evict them," said Kevin McConnell, the lawyer for tenants in both the Manhattan House and Sheffield cases. By David Jones
This just clouds the offering even more.
See this discussion for more info on the asbestos problems at Manhattan House:
Anyone bought in here? It looks like they have reached 85 units. In streeteasy total of 84 units no longer available by Jan 31 2008...
tylernewyork - your info is incorrect. On February 9th, the sponsor posted in the lobby of Manhattan House that 7 tenants have signed contracts to purchase and 48 "bona fide purchasers" have signed contracts to purchase - for a total of 55 signed contracts out of the 87 required for the condo conversion plan to be declared effective. If the plan is not declared effective by June 30th, it is considered abandoned, and a new plan cannot be submitted for a year.
I believe that the number of units that Streeteasy shows as available depends upon many factors, such as apartments being combined or prices changing (which often show up as the unit dropping off the for sale list at the original price and showing up on the for sale list as a different unit at a new price).
jack18 thank you! great info as we are thinking to ask big discount..
Tylernewyork, I thought you were looking at the Riverhouse and the Visionaire, both in BPC. The Upper East Side is quite a different neighberhood - what prompted your change in focus? Interetsed to hear why you would be interested in Manhattan House. I have also looked at the Manhattan House, but compared to other buildings in the neighberhood, I've found their pricing to be about 25% above market. Please post on this board to let us know the outcome of your negotiations for a discount. Good luck!
i thought in a down market UES is more stable and more likely to maintain the value.. Happy to hear other opinion. I also looked at UWS. The supply is not as high as UES...
Does anyone have any update on how this conversion is holding up? I know the condo conversion plan was approved but was wondering how their sales have been. I still think they are extremely over priced for what is offered and find it hard to believe things are going well (even before the current market shakeout).
Looks like they officially closed on a unit on the 14th.
They have scheduled closings on a few units, but nothing is moving these days -- the sales office is full of perky little sales agents doing crossword puzzles.
Having signed a contract to purchase at Manhattan House, I now realize what a mistake that was, and I do not want to close on the apartment. I have been speaking with Adam Leitman Bailey (www.alblawfirm.com), the attorney who represents the Manhattan House Tenants' Association, about having him represent a group of similarly situated purchasers in an action to recover deposits from the sponsor. I recommend you contact Adam if you wish to participate.
Are you sure you covered all the prior postings for Manhattan House?
gutter86: I hope I did, as that was my intent. I believe that there are a large number of Manhattan House purchasers who, like me, want out of their contracts. I have spoken with Adam Leitman Bailey (www.alblawfirm.com) and believe that he is the right attorney to handle this matter, as he has extensive experience in this area and already has a full understanding of the situation at Manhattan House from his representation of the Manhattan House Tenants' Association in their conflicts with the sponsor. The more people that choose to use Adam Leitman Bailey to represent them in recovering their deposits, the lower the legal expense will be for each of us. The problem is that it is difficult to reach out to those who have signed contracts at Manhattan House and want out, as their names are not publicly available. By posting here, I hope to reach some of them.
Anything new from the white elephant?
still advertising like every week in multiple mags.
tough to polish a turd.
My husband and I have been very impressed with the renovations at Manhattan House. Does anyone have any update on their experience with this building? So far, all the comments look pretty bleak.
you might want to read this.
The disclosures, made in an August 2009 amendment to the offering plan and included in the documents filed with the attorney general's office, reveal that after nearly two years of sales, developer Jeremiah O'Connor, managing partner at O'Connor Capital Partners, had closed only 88 unit sales in the condominium, with 487 unsold units remaining. Of the unsold units, 205 were occupied by existing rent-stabilized and market-rate tenants, and the rest were vacant and generated no additional income
oh my lord.
as I said, a turd. A white brick turd.
i read the question from KBSW about the quality of the renovations. the building is well located but i made a mistake moving in. apartment renovations are acceptable qualitatively. the main problem is that the building is old and experiences many leaks. and that is made much much worse by the ongoing construction in the building. since most apartments have not been renovated or sold, the building is a continuous construction site and will be for several more years until work is completed. that ongoing work, and the demolition, is causing serious leaks all over and into newly renovated apartmetns. there is also the problem of elevators in use, noise, dust, asbestos (??), etc. the staff is nice and they are trying but it has been way way more difficult living there than i ever expected.
KBSW, we live in the building in a renovated apartment and have had no leaks; rather, we enjoy the building tremendously. After looking around at many apartments (many of which had views into interior courtyards), Manhattan House stood out as exceptionally nice for the quality of construction (including excellent windows) and design. One is aware that it was originally designed by a famous architect. The staff is very helpful, facilities are kept very clean. The construction has been occasionally apparent but no problem for us. We feel comfortable living in and having invested in Manhattan House.
i wonder if PES2 lives in the building based on the comment about excellent windows. i agree the windows look pretty but they have a serious design flaw since they open by pushing out and the top of the window is exposed to the sky so that if the window is open even a crack, rain will pour into the condominium unit. that must be why i never see that window design in other condomiminium buildings.
I do live in the building. I agree that if it is pouring one can't leave most of the windows wide open. but the hopper windows in the bedroom can be used at times when it's raining hard and one can open the living room windows that are under the balcony overhead at those times as well....at least in our unit. It's true that they may not be used in other buildings for this reason but at least there is a way around them.
> We feel comfortable living in and having invested in Manhattan House
Owner occupied RE is not an investment. That was your first mistake..... Manhattan house was your second.
Re: 'invest' - 'bought' could be used just as well. But at the same time, real estate is an investment in the same way that one invests in anything one puts money or time into - it can be a new coat or a place to live. Manhattan House was not a mistaken purchase for us...we really like it - and as I said above, had looked around thoroughly, felt it fit our needs and was by far the nicest place we saw for the price and maintenance. No regrets.
> Re: 'invest' - 'bought' could be used just as well
It wouldn't be as well, it would be correct. "invest" is not.
> But at the same time, real estate is an investment in the same way that one invests in anything one
> puts money or time into - it can be a new coat or a place to live.
Yes, in the same way that a dog is a muffler.
As in, none of them are true.... they're only investments if you don't understand what the word means.
Been living in building as new ownerr. The constant construction and the noise and the dust is horrible. I figured out that because the building was retrofitted, the condominium units are very inefficient layout so that I am getting much less useable space than I paid for so that my price per square foot is actually much higher than listed.
I just started renovating one of the model apartments and think it is very nice, better then most conversions
Carlpasa. I'm surprised that you feel that the layouts are inefficient, where I feel the opposite. I think the flow of the apts are pretty ideal, with reasonable sized kitchens, good LR and all is not cramped into a 12x20 room. I think that there are enough hallways to separate out spaces, but not too much that it feels like a total waste. The quoted square footage in almost all new condos in inflated, but you have to read the prospectus on how it was calculated. There are a few different ways which are allowable in NYC for condos. Some take into account a portion of the common areas and are added onto the listed footage. Really a cheap shot by developers, but all sanctioned by the NYC RE board. Therefore, as you kind of hinted at,...buyer beware. I think that they actually do it less than others.
I moved into the building back in March (D tower) and while there have been some hiccups in terms of stuff that was broken or not in perfect working order when I moved it, they were all handled well. As recently as last month I had then come in to fix problems with the lighting in the kitchen and touch up some paint on the walls and they have not billed me for any of the work. I am very curious to see how long they will keep taking care of anything and everything as if it was on the initial punch list.
Also, people are complaining about the noise, but unless you are unemployed/retired/work from home etc you can't even tell construction is going on in the building. I've never heard them working in the building and I generally leave by 8:30AM and come back around 6.
The only thing that really bothers me about the building is that it's all cement (which is also a good thing, you NEVER hear your neighbors) and there is no overhead lighting except in the kitchen and bathrooms. It's exhorbinantly expensive to put in any sort of overhead lighting because of the fact that your ceiling is inches away from the concrete, leaving no room to install lighting or speakers if you wanted to put surround sound in.
Other than that I love it!
Is there a water penetration issue at manhattan house? Lots of scaffold and clearly brick removal underway. Always amazes me how developers do not invest in exterior structure - only focus on interiors and amenities
I have worked in two apartments on both sides of the building and have not seen or heard anything about water penetration. The building is run very well and I would not hesitate to move into that building
This building seemed to be a broker's favorite to show.
I do not know if you still look at this tread but we put installed surround sound by using the radiator covers It is doable.
I lived in MH for many years as a renter prior to the sale by NYL. now in the suburbs, about two years ago I bought a unit for a family member to use. I loved living in this building and he loves it now. the staff are consistently great. everything is spotless and built like a rock. minimal noise and great, simple layouts in the new apartments--with generous room sizes. not great views for height, but 66th is a tree lined two way (wide) block and there is a fair bit of distance to buildings north and south. in three apartments over a dozen years I never had --or heard about a water issue from any neighbor. daytime construction is active but not overbearing and will probably continue for years as there are a lot of apartments still being converted from renters. no bargain but nothing is in manhattan these days...