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We are looking to make an offer on 45 John. Any feedback or thoughts on this development?
I think lower manhattan, in general, is a good long term investment. I just sold my place at the seaport after 8 years, and I'm a bit sad to be leaving. Good luck.
Common charges and taxes seem a little high, especially when you consider the effect of the tax abatement rolling off. Which unit are you looking at? Some units have been on the market for over 260 days and a few of them just had their asking prices raised. Maybe the developer is anticipating lower bids coming in, so is raising the asking price to compensate? (i.e. raise the asking price so that when you factor in a discount, the final sale price is close to the same?) You have to be more careful with new construction since there are more tricks they can play versus existing unit sales.
Also, be cautious of the broker handling the building, Jim Brawders. He was apparently involved in the fiasco at the Tribeca Space building at 25 Murray St that was so bad that initial buyers were allowed to rescind their contracts after waiting over 1 year without being allowed to close.
I first saw a warning sign here:
For the full story, read this thread:
Apparently, a lot of people got screwed. Now the broker that handled 25 Murray St is in charge of 45 John. I always take anything that comes out of a broker's mouth with a grain of salt anyway, but you might want to be extra careful with this one.
I agree with Bluerain that FiDi is a great long term investment. While the next 12-18 months are pretty cloudy everywhere, I think in 5-7 years, this area has the greatest potential for appreciation.
As a place to live, I love it. Very close to transportation, lots of little supermarkets. Dry cleaners and drug stores everywhere. Not a lot of medium key little restaurants right in the vicinity but looks like more are coming. It's just a short walk to Tribeca and a 10 minute subway ride to the Village, Chelsea so you're never too far from the action.
I don't live at 45 John but right down the street, and have heard good things about the building. I don't know anything about the broker there, but did hear a lot about the Tribeca Space fiasco that iMom talks about. Brokers are salesman, and middle people, so I'd be more concerned if it was the same developer/sponsor. But as iMom says, take anything a broker says with a grain of salt. But do some homework on the sponsor, and perhaps get a good lawyer involved at an early stage to review the plan,etc.
I'm one of the many people who Jim Brawders screwed with Tribeca Space. He promised me occupancy in the Fall of 2006. I'm still homeless...
I suggest that you not believe a word that he tells you...
45 John - no light, no views. District might be a better bet.
Blue Rain. Can you share the building you where at by the seaport?
NYCHK: In an ironic way, with how the market has gone, you're probably better off not having consummated the purchase back in 2006. I hope you were let out of your contract and that you got your deposit back. Let this be a warning to all those looking at those shiny new developments that aren't what they seem.
The target markets for 45 John and District feel pretty different. 45 John has really nice, highly functional kitchens whereas the kitchens at District are a complete joke (e.g., the oven is about the size of a toaster). District has a lot of nice amenities, whereas 45 John is a small "boutique" building but with only a gym and a roof deck. Overall, it's hard to see someone coming down to a decision between those two buildings. They both seem fairly reasonable, but with very different appeals.
I looked pretty seriously at 45 John, but ended up unwilling to gamble that the unit would still be worth the price I'd be paying when it came time to get financing. There doesn't seem to be any discount built into the pricing versus resales of other fairly nice buildings nearby (e.g. the Croft building) or new developments that are basically done (e.g. 88 Greenwich), so I don't see why it would be worth taking on the risk of problems arising between now and closing.
jordyn - Like you, I checked out both and passed on both for the same reasons you described.
Just speaking of the 2 bedroom since that is what I'm in the market for:
The views, lack of light, and construction killed the deal for 45 John. Their kitchen beats the District hands down.
The District was a littler better in terms of light depending which aparttment and where it faces. The amenities, the finishes, and the construction was way better in the District. The materials used was by far superior than any other condo conversion in the FiDi in the same price range. (Not sure of 75 Wall.) i.e. They insulated walls between living rooms and bedrooms.
True. The kitchen sucked. Plus everything was electric. Double sucked. If it was not for the kitchen I would have bought in the District.
I feel in terms of investment - the district is better than 45 John. (Location, amenities, and construction.)
The projected taxes after the abatement are also very high. I don't remember the number but I saw it at the Condo Show in Soho last weekend. I was shocked.
Thought about it. Work nearby, so went to see the building ... too dark. Also went back because the building kept showing up on searches, and so I looked at the monthlies which are too high. Who cares about an iPod dock and concierge service - expensive expenses.
Everyone - I owed at 'The Bindery' @ 324 Pearl St. - its an older condo in the seaport historical district. Used to be a book bindery. The building is about 100 years old and has a lot of character.
An 833 square foot place just went for sale there at a $780K asking price. Maint is $416.
Monthlies are definitely high (common charges > $1.00 psf and post-abatement taxes estimated in the same range). This is actually consistent with other small buildings nearby (59 John, 71 Nassau). This makes sense for the common charges, since there aren't as many units to spread the common charges over, but I'm not sure why the taxes are so high.
If you're in the market for a 1BR, one nice thing about the building is that the 1BRs aren't crippled--you get essentially the same kitchens and bathrooms as in the 2BRs. As someone in the market for a 1BR, I find this very appealing.
any thoughts on 99 john ?
i thought 45 john was too pricey and the though of the same person who handled 25 murray creeps me out and district isnt family freindly at all..we arent sexy people ! we looked at 25 broad but its way too dark but has great ementies specailly if you have kids. i wont talk about beaver as it gives me an ulcer.
I don't think 99 John really compares to the other properties mentioned here so far. The finishes aren't nearly as nice, and it's currently a strange hodgepodge of rentals and condos. It's priced a bit (not a lot) cheaper at around $1000 psf, and has a lot of unique layouts so it may suit if you're not looking for real "luxury". I'd certainly look at 99 John ahead of slightly cheaper nearby options at 80 John or 90 William which both feel fairly cheap to me.
75 Wall may be a decent family-friendly choice, although it's even more expensive than 45 John. Some resales are popping up in 59 John, which seems reasonably family-friendly, although suffers from many of the same flaws (high common charges, limited amenities, no views) as 45 John.
Does anybody have information or thoughts on whether The Setai is a good deal? It's expensive, is it worth it? I'm considering it as an investment.
Does anyone know of any new condo developments in the FiDi besides the current ones being marketed now and mentioned here I notice some new construction going on but I understand those are going to be new rentals and/or hotels.
Here's what I know about:
Cocoa Exchange (1 Wall Street Court - All sold/closed, some resales coming on the market
Croft Building (71 Nassau) - All sold/closed, some resales
59 John - All sold/mostly closed, some resales coming on the market
Downtown by Philippe Starck (15 Broad) - Mostly? sold and closed, some resales and some new units still available
88 Greenwich - 75%? sold, most units complete, ~50% closed; no resales
55 Wall - I don't know much about this place except it's outrageously expensive
The Exchange (25 Broad) - Was supposed to be opening about now; some inventory still available
South Star (80 Johnn) - Mostly sold, a few 2/3 BRs available; resales fairly regularly available
20 Pine - Mostly (90%?) sold, closings just started
District (60 Ann) - Supposedly opening in a few months, not sure how much has been sold
99 John - They originally claimed to be starting closings in April, not sure about sales
Be@William (80 William) - Mostly sold, supposedly opening in the next few months
45 John - 40-50% sold, supposedly opening "late summer"
75 Wall - Lots of inventory still available, supposedly opening in the fall
Setai (40 Broad) - I don't remember when it's supposed to be done or how much they claim to have sold
William Beaver (15 S. William) - I don't know much about it
W (?? Washington) - Just started sales, which is all I know since it's ~$2k psf
I'm not aware of anything else coming up that's not being marketed yet (except for rentals).
I was just at 25 Braod and it is 35% sold an closings start in May. Not off to a great start due to the ultra high finishes that don't look any better than the next luxury building. Common charges and low and they don't know why.
I bought at 45 John. Things I liked about it include: large 1 bedrooms with 1.5-2.0 bathrooms (including a shower in the many of the second bathrooms), nice kitchens/bathrooms (including stand-up shower and separate tub, nice common areas, great closet space (some units have a pantry in the kitchen too), wash/dryer included. The ipod docking station is also nice to have.
Also, if you are sold on FiDi, the location is great - close to the subways, 200 feet from 2 real grocery stores, not far from Stone Street and Front Street. The new Gild Hall Hotel (with a Todd English restaurant and champange lounge on the second floor) will be ready in a few months and is just around the corner.
Things I didn't like were lack of light and amenities aren't great (but common charges seem to imply there should be a lot of amenities).
Grocery stores in financial district? Where? I work there.
And I live in central greenwich village - gold coast. We have Citarella, Balducci, Jefferson Market, specialty fish stores, specialty cheese stores, specialty meat stores, plus places that other neighborhoods consider gourmet but aren't such as Gourmet Garage, and then several of Food Emporium, Gristedes, Associated, Dagastino ..., corner stores at every corner
Anyway, what was that about "FiDi"?
Do you know what the projected taxes are on your unit?
jordyn what do you think the sq/ $ should be for 99 john ?
matttthecat i know of at least two on john street and one on madinelane
mattthecat - You clearly had trouble reading my posting. I didn't say that FiDi was the central village. All I said was that there are two real grocery stores within 200 feet of 45 John. Zeytuna (John and William) and Jubilee (on John Street). There is also a new Gristedes on Maiden Lane. We don't have the amenities of the central village, but we are paying $1000/square foot for an entirely new apartment with great finishes. 45 John in the central village would probably cost $1500-$2000/square foot.
lajeep405 - I'm sure I could look up the projected taxes, but the only thing I recall right now is that they are $0 for the first 10 years.
I'm spitting up a hairball over the thought of living down here
I think mattthecat must subscribe to the "black hole" theory of grocery stores, where the Village contains some sort of gravitation pull attracting all of the grocery stores in the universe with none being able to escape its grasp. Otherwise, I have no idea why the fact that there's a lot of grocery stores in one place would affect whether there are or not grocery stores in another place.
sfo - My skills for property appraising leave much to be desired. 99 John also has a lot of unique layouts, with a large degree of variability in terms of the utility of the space, views and outdoor space. It would be hard to give a general guideline that would be meaningful. In general, I think 99 John is somewhat nicer (and with better layouts) than places like 80 John and 90 William, which have been selling in the $800-$900 psf range, and not as nice as somewhere like 75 Wall, which is more like $1200 psf. There's units in 99 John for $1000 psf, and that feels like reasonable relative to the other new developments nearby (of course, some may argue that everything is overpriced...) Personally, I'd pay slightly more for the nicer quality apartments at 45 John, but you're definitely sacrificing light/views and paying more in monthlies for fewer amenities.
Jones111: $0 property taxes for first 10-years? That's not how the tax abatement works. You know this, right? I'm not going to explain it here, but I highly doubt that "$0 for the first 10 years" is correct.
Actually, that's exactly how the 421(g) works in this case, with the abatement rolling off 20% per year over the final four years.
I stand correct.
iMom- No you don't - you are wrong. The 421(g), which is only available in lower manhattan near the WTC site (generally defined as the area south of the centerline of Murray, Frankfort and Dover Streets, excluding Battery Park City and the piers), is a 14 year tax abatement. In years 2-9 the taxes are $0 (I was wrong in my earlier post; taxes the first year are the full amount). If you google 421(g) tax abatement you will find plenty of information on it.
From the internet:
The abatement portion of the 421g benefit provides for an abatement not to exceed 14 years. During the first year, the abated taxes are equal to what would have been due if the abatement was not in place, or in other words, the first year abatement is related to the original, existing taxes, known in 421a circles as the "mini-tax."
In the second through loth years, the 421 g abatement is equal to 100 percent of this amount, and that is phased-in 20 percent each year so by the 14th year, the abatement is only equal to 20 percent of the original taxes and in the 15th year, the project is paying 100 percent of its taxes.
jones111, I saw the projected taxes at the condo show in Soho but can't remember. I thought they were really high to the point of concern. Can you confirm the number?
matttecat, it only makes sense to live in the FiDi if you work in the FiDi and want to see your family another 10 hours a week.
jordyn my other main issue with 99 john are the taxes, they got a tax abatemen when they covnerted the buliding from commercial to residential, and i think it ends next year or may be the year after. the taxes after that are so much it's scary.
hairball coming up again.
If you are going to go for a building with low ppsf, then you should also want low commons.
A buyer here really isn't thinking about long-term carrying costs.
Oh, and Zeytuna and Jubilee are not real grocery stores. Who outside of "FiDi" (more people know PDiddy than FiDi) ever heard of Zeytuna and Jubilee?
lajeep405 - The projected taxes, without the tax abatement, are around $1000/month for my 1 bedroom (maybe $1100, maybe $900, I just don't remember). The reason I don't care is that 45 John has the 421(g) tax abatement so the taxes are nothing in years 2-10. If you don't believe me, call the sales office (or call any sales office of a new builidng downtown (District, 75 Wall, Setai) - they all have a 421(g) abatement, except the ones that were converted from rentals).
I'll admit the common charges are on the high side (about $1.10/sq foot), but unfornately, common charges are generally higher in many medium sized buildings. William Beaver House has cheap common charges and great amenties, but they have 250 units to share in the cost. I wish I could get a 1 bedroom, in the central village, with a 421(g) tax abatement, $500/month common charges, lots of cool amenities, and new, beautiful finishes for under $1 million, but I can't. I choose the things on that list that are most important to me and 45 John won out. It's not the right choice for everybody, but it (or one like it) is for a lot of people who have bought in FiDi.
sfo - Yeah, a lot of the taxes in the FiDi seem really out of whack. The tax system is so opaque that I have no idea why. Mattthecat finally made a good point (as opposed to the assertion that things aren't "real" unless other people have heard of them) that total carrying costs should be considered, and it's important to make sure that the total costs make sense not only when you first buy but several years in.
In the same vein, it's hard to get too excited about buildings with 421(g) abatements, but extremely high post-abatement taxes. Even if you plan on selling before the taxes kick in, the prospect of high taxes is going to hurt resale value as future buyers think about the taxes on their own carrying costs. Projected taxes at 45 John seem to come in at >$1.00 psf, which means that after the abatement is over monthlies would be in the range of $2.00 - $2.50 psf (without taking inflation into account). It's worth looking at how high monthlies affect prices in place like Battery Park City to get a feel for how much this can hurt resale value.
People like lajeep and matthecat are free not to like the Financial District, but access to transportation is really unbeaten and the only real downside to the neighborhood is the lack of nightlife/diversity of restaurants. (On the other hand, you're not far away from any part of the city, so it's easy to get to the action.) Even this aspect is getting better, but there's definitely a ways to go. I'd *much* rather live in the Financial District than some traditional residential neighborhoods like the UES.
I meant to say "I stand corrected." Forgot the -ed
access to transportation is unbeated ... um, no, its not like dot dot dot, the West 4th and 14th Street
But yes, access to transportation is important because living in "FiDi," you will certainly want to be transportated away, quickly ... beam me up Scotty
jordyn, my point exactly, the carrying charges after the abatement are very important to the value of the home. Every year that goes by makes it more difficult.
I live and work in the Fidi and I do like it but I believe in living close to work. If I had to communte within Manhattan (lets say from UWS to Fidi) I might as well move to Brooklyn have the same commute and get more space. Just my theory.
matthecat : You should try looking at a subway map sometime. 14th street has decent access to subways, although there's no point on 14th street as close to as many lines as you'd be standing at the intersection of Fulton and Nassau. On the other hand W. 4th isn't even vaguely comparable: you get access to a bunch of local lines by walking much farther.
Then again it's pretty clear that you feel insecure about something in your life and are trying to compensate for it by paying for some of the most expensive real estate in the City. I'd like to live in the Village as well, but I'm not sure I'd like to enough to pay twice as much as in various other places that are just a few minutes away.
Who the hell wants to stand at the intersection of Fulton and Nassau.
By your logic, you might as well live at O'Hare Airport.
Interesting conclusion about my life, though.
Seen it, passed. Neighborhood, views, darkness, monthlies, post-abatement taxes affecting resale. Nice ipod dock though :)
Anyone know the status of 25 broad st? seems like they have been marketing for ages, Jordyn reckon 35% sold.. dosent seem like a lot given the time.
Better invest in some earphones, it will be overlooking the construction of the world trade center for the next 10 years!
OriginalPoster--do you have any idea where this building actually is? It's in the general vicinity of the WTC, but doesn't overlook it by any stretch of the imagination and is unlikely to be affected by the noise. This building 'overlooks' the WTC site in the same way that a third floor walkup on Amsterdam Ave. might 'overlook' Central Park (i.e., only in one's dreams).
45 John and similarly situated buildings are somewhat shielded from WTC construction. Not to say that there's not a lot of other construction there, but not much different than a lot of other areas of Manhattan. It's really hard not to be in a construction zone in this city.
Also, I think it's going to be more like 3-4 years for WTC development. I actually think that property values will surge in the Financial District in 5-7 years. Right now, it's kind of nice little neighborhood.
Re 25 Broad, it's a beautiful building that seems like it will have great amenities, but the views are downright ugly. Kind of scary ugly.
I was there two weeks ago. Based on model show room, finish seemed good. Price per sq ft was not bad. But when I saw the monthly and unabated taxes, I knew it wasn't for me. The bldg looks really dirty and old from outside. I know its under construction but it looked pretty scary to me. But other people like it so it may suit you as well!
Just know that it only has 180 unit so monthlys will be high.
blingbling: It actually only has 84 units, not 180.
I went to see it last week. The model unit is a 1-BR, so if you're looking for a 2-BR, you just have to use your imagination. They want to be a full service building, so the cost of the amenities are shared by a smaller number of people - hence the higher monthlies. Kitchen was nice, but we didn't like the bathroom fixtures - the water controls come out of the wall, not the sink and there is a separate control for hot and cold, not a single stem that controls both. Also, no separate hand spray for the tub. The iPod dock seemed gimmicky - the whole apartment has to listen to the same song (can't have one song playing in the living room while another song plays in the bedroom) and no remote control (the control is mounted on the wall like a light switch) means you have to get up and walk to the wall to change the volume or the song. It's the little things like these that annoy me. You'd be better off installing your own sound system if it were really that important to you. Fitness area is in the basement and sounds like it will be VERY small - bare minimum equipment/space. We'd probably keep our gym membership anyway, so why pay for a tiny fitness center in your building if you're never going to use it? They also made a big deal about their concierge service that helps you with dinner reservations or theater tickets or travel reservations. But I have that feature with my American Express Card - and I never even use that service, so why would another concierge be helpful? Monthly common charges and unabated RE taxes are about $2.65/square-foot, which is definitely high. Deal breaker was when we realized that the nearest public school is 2 subway stops away, not within walking distance.
But hey, that's just my opinion. I'm sure the people who end up living there will be very happy.
Also of note: the sales rep David seemed very nice. He was actually a pleasure and seemed very knowledgeable. He definitely has a routine, but we both walked away with a very positive feeling about him.
Yes, 84 units, not 180. You are correct iMom. I met David as well, very nice guy. Remember Dusti that properties with high monthly and RE taxes per sq ft will take longer to sell as well. Other than that, I think 45 John was one of the best ones I've seen among condos on John street.
I just received a follow up call last week from 45 John after looking at it. This has not happened too often after looking at a new developments. They asked what I thought and I gave them the cons for me, high carrying charges, etc. They also told me they can arrange 90% financing for qualified buyers. I told them I have a high 700 score and have talked to many banks and it does not exist for larger loans. I am sensing they are starting to try harder to move units. 2008 is going to be interesting.
Sounds like they are getting bit desperate. I bet they will pay for the transfer tax too. When I went few weeks ago, they didn't have that many units sold.
Trust me - David Kest is NOT a "very nice guy." He screwed over hundreds of people in Tribeca Space (google that for an education) and then ran away from that building and started selling 45 John. Despite his promises of Fall 2006 occupancy, not one person has ever been able to move into Tribeca Space. He's no better than a snake oil salesman.
iMom--I'm not sure the criticism about the distance to school is fair:
1) The school is question is PS 234. Lots of people would kill to have to take the subway to have their kids in PS 234.
2) While it's true that if you were to take the subway, you'd go two stops (or maybe 1 if you took the A/C instead of the 2/3, it's by no means an unwalkable distance. I'd guesstimate it at about a 15 minute walk. The distances between the subway stops is quite short. In fact, the distance between Park Place and Chambers may be the shortest in the entire subway system.
3) I presume 45 John will be zoned for the new school planned in the Gehry building on Beekman street when it opens, so this situation will improve soon.
jordyn: If you had to do it once, the walk from 45 John to PS 234 may not be so bad. But if you have to do that walk twice in the morning (there and back) and twice in the afternoon, 5 days a week, with a young child in tow, for 6 years (kindergarten through 5th grade) that walk would seem very long very quickly. Is it doable? Sure. Would I want to be closer? Absolutely.
Sure, but the average price per square foot for places zoned for PS 234 is *way* higher than what you see at 45 John, and places in the northern parts of TriBeCa are just as far away.
Looking solely from the perspective of schools, this is a fairly reasonably priced way to get your kid(s) to a great school. Then again, there's some older condos on Greenwich street which are right by the school and similarly priced (generally, they need some work, though).
(And, like I said, this is only a temporary issue in any case. You certainly wouldn't have to do it for six years.)
i thought there is a school bus that stops at fulton and waters for ps 234 ?...
jordyn..do you know when the school on beeckman is schudeled to open ?
the school in the Beekman tower will open in 2010. Of course, that's a year later than the original plan and may still be somewhat optimistic.
Anybody have any idea when closings will start in this building? Sales office says October but there sure seems to be a lot of work to be done. Before 25Murray jumps in and starts talking about David Kest, yes, we know the problems with TriBeCa Space and don't need you to repeat yourself.
I know exactly when the closing will start. Just do some research of some other buidlings in the area and look at when construction started and closes started. From looking in the Fidi in the past year at other buildings, I would say about 10 months after the original promise date.
Way too expensive monthlies.
They've gone ahead with the title search. We're planning on a November close with a 4th floor unit, but I'm expecting December or early January once all is said and done.
Let me restate that: we're "preparing" for a November close. My lawyer (who is my sister-in-law) said that there's a good possibility that they will close on time since they started the paperwork for closing (e.g, title search).
Murphy's Law would have it that I'd buy in the one building that closed on time ... I'm 7 months pregnant and was hoping to close after delivery. My broker, who is from Corcoran and a good friend, said that he's been told over and over that the building is on schedule and he knows that I'd prefer that the closing be delayed a little. He and I were both told that 4th floor units will close by November. It seems that December or January would be the absolute latest. I can see it happening because it's a small building and they don't need to have everything completed to get their Temporary Cert. of Occupancy.
What happens to a bilding like this with
high monthlies to support unnecessary ammenities to a bunch of Wall Streeters who will be belt tightening.
Curious: what makes you think that the building is being sold to Wall Streeters? I bought there and I'm a yoga instructor and my husband is a contractor. I, also, know a physical therapist who bought at District a few buildings down from us. The two wall-street people I know rent/rented downtown. (One recently ended up buying in Chelsea.) I also know someone who works in film who rents at 85 John and a real-estate broker who owns at the Setai. I think it's a strange misconception to think that people who work in the financial district are the ones who primarily own in the financial district ...
I mean, if you work in FiDi, you know the area. If you don't work in FiDi, you are just buying on price or because some broker told you the area would go up. Have you lived in the area before? Do you really think it is great? Why not move to Brooklyn wihch is more neighborhoody, right?
It's easy for me to answer that: quiet, great public elementary school, great public transportation, easy access to Tribeca and all of downtown Manhattan without the cost per sq. foot., access to Hudson River Park, and safety. After living here for 15 years, I know what's important to me in a neighborhood and FiDi has got it.
I don't want to single SueECho out, but some people here make a huge assumption--a false one, no less. I, along with most of my friends that live in Manhattan, am not AT ALL looking for "neighborhoody." We are looking for the convenience, proximity to everything (including parks, shopping, and touristy areas), and great schools (most FiDi kids go to Tribeca public schools). If you are classist, you may also be interested to know that FiDi has no housing projects.
Yes, I've lived in the area in the recent past, and it was great. The contrast among weekdays (business crowd), evenings (relatively quiet), and weekends (tourists) alone was interesting to me. From my experience, only a few of my neighbors were Wall Streeters. Of course, if you are looking for a backyard and picket fences, you should BY ALL MEANS move to Brooklyn, but that's obviously not what we are looking for.
Anyhow, don't most Wall Streeters with kids live in big houses in Westchester or Connecticut? Also, young Wall Streeters I know live in Chelsea, SoHo, or Tribeca--not just in FiDi. The assumption that only Wall Streeters would live in FiDi is like saying that people employed by NYU would be the only ones living in NoHo, because it's not "neighborhoody." Makes no sense.
My guess is that most people know very little about FiDi and immediately criticize it for no reason. Just take a walk around the area, and you will see a wide range of attractions. I guess 9/11 was traumatic enough for people to automatically find FiDi aversive...maybe?
Nicely said nyc212. I've been keeping an eye on postings for 45 John and FiDi in general. I find it so bizarre that some people feel the need to trash this neighborhood. What's great about it though is that, if you look at the different threads on FiDi, it becomes really clear that the people who live there love it.
Originally, I had friends who lived in 85 John and 99 John in the 90s. (They weren't Wall Streeters. They were all graphic designers and computer programmers.) It was great ... there were huge terrace parties and, because it was so underpopulated, it felt like you had a piece of NYC all to yourself. Then 9/11 happened and everyone moved out. I'm excited that this neighborhood has reemerged as a place to live in. It has so much history and great architecture. We're excited for our condo.
Our primary reasons for buying at 45 John was because it had the majority of things that we were looking for at a price/sq ft that we could afford in a condo. Even with our 50% down, we couldn't be sure that a co-op in another neighborhood would approve us, since my husband and I are both self-employed and don't have the financial qualifications that good co-ops require. (Although, we've been approved for a mortgage.) A good FiDi condo made sense for us and we haven't regretted our choice. The specific things that sold us on it were the 421-g, concrete-poured ceilings, amazing kitchen, efficient layout of our apartment and TWO bathrooms. I cannot raise a family in NYC without two bathrooms. But, lack of light I can deal with ...
We're facing the building across a narrow street. I guess this freaks some people out more than others. I have window treatments picked out that will allow light to come in at the top, but keep things private.
Also, a well-lit apartment was a low priority on my list. My last place had amazing views of brownstones in the West Village. The light and views didn't make up for a having only a part-time non-union doorman (essentially a security guard), horrible building financials, plumbing that caused thousands of dollars of damage and the worst possible construction between floors -- there's nothing more ironic than living in an apartment that's worth 1.2 million and knowing your downstairs neighbor is going occasionally bang on your floor with a broom handle because your dropped something or stepped too loudly.
The 421-g offsets the common charges more than enough. They also don't seem much higher to me than the condos I've looked at in Tribeca or elsewhere in FiDi. We could have bought a condo way uptown with lower common charges, but any money we saved in common charges would have gone to private schooling. I suppose it all depends on your lifestyle and priorities ...
Anyone under contract and considering walking away?
CASA, why would you walk away from 45 John? That development, from what I understand, has been doing well and is in good financial shape... At leasy it isn't at all like 20 Pine, William Beaver, or 88 Greenwich.
Are these other buildings you named in trouble? I am looking at 45 John but am curious what people under contract are doing/considering given the market and also as they have not yet closed on any units yet from what I understand.
I bought at 45 John and am not thinking about walking away. I was told the developer plans to start closings in january - I'm not sure I believe closings will start in January, but they are certainly getting close. The building is 48% sold - not as much as I would like, but still not bad. The lobby is coming along nicely and I think it will be very nice when complete. I see no reason to walk away - unless, of course, you lost your job and cannot get a mortgage or something unforunate like that. Despite the weakened real estate market in NYC, I think 45 John is still a good value.
First, let me state that I am in no way associated with 45 John or its sponsor/developer. So, what I say here is merely based on my own perspectives.
CASA, you can find plenty of discussions here on troubled developments--some in FiDi. This is not to say that all/most developments in FiDi are in trouble (sometimes people here seem to have trouble with this logical distinction).
45 John was well priced from the beginning, and it has been selling well albeit its preconstruction status. I toured there, and I think it is highly desirable, and the pricing is quite attractive compared to comps in the area, such as 20 Pine, William Beaver, 75 Wall, etc. In fact, I think the pricing per foot is even lower than 99 John, which is a much less "substantive" bldg. than most in the area.
I think people are walking away primarily from grossly overpriced developments with little substance, and I don't see 45 John being one of them. Also, 88 Greenwich has a set of problems beyond pricing (e.g., planned MTA tower to block the entire Southern side of the bldg., the foundation problem, etc.), which appears to be prompting some to walk away.
My advice is to run - not walk - away from 45 John. The sleazy Corcoran broker peddling this project - David Kest - is the same idiot who sold me my condo in Tribeca Space - another conversion that he touted as a first-rate project that's now falling down around my ears faster than I can repair it. Trust me you'll be buying into a money pit!!!
25Murray--sorry to hear about your situation. However, was Corcoran the developer of the troubled development? Corcoran serves as the marketing agent for some FiDi developments (e.g., 90 William) yet they have nothing to do w/ the construction integrity (SDS Procida is the developer @ 90 William). If that's the case, don't be mad at the messenger or the sales girl--be mad at the developer.
In any case, could you describe your problems in more detail??? Are you taking any actions???
Just as I thought--Manhattan Capital is the Developer for 45 John, and it is marketed through a Corcoran agent. The broker, I can assure you, has nothing to do with the construction quality of the Manhattan Capital project!
I don't know about your bldg., but your suggestion that people run away from 45 John is therefore misleading--and has potential legal consequences... Be careful.
I agree with vanderveen. While I am sure it was frustrating to have lived through TriBeCa Space (and I really do feel bad for you), Corcoran and David Kest were just the messengers. Just as a lawyer, PR specialist, or other hired agent must advocate for his client, (I think) so too must a broker. You are right to be mad at the developer, but Corcoran and Kest were just the messenger. FWIW, I understand David Kest bought an apartment at 45 John, so I think it is safe to say he personally believes in the project and the sponsor.
Now, on to more important issues - anybody hear anything about a TCO at 45 John?
downtown1234: have you heard that they have a TCO? the list prices still seem high but perhaps will come down once they close on apartments already sold at the higher prices? we saw the bldg a long time ago and have been keeping an eye on it -- closing seems to have been delayed for a long time now...
I haven't heard that they do have a TCO - but it seems like it is getting close. The lobby looks almost done and one of the construction workers told me things were getting close.
We checked in late last week and heard a TCO should be in place by end of February. I believe they specifically said they'd be filing in three weeks. It is getting close. I'm assuming we'll close in mid- to late- March.
micrina: when did you buy and, if it was some time ago, have you negotiated a better deal since? any explanations on why the extended delay? when we first saw the building they said they would close by late summer last year. they are converting an old bldg, so wonder if there are problems keeping them moving forward.
We were always told a late summer/early fall close which translated to Sept/Oct for us. But, having seen a lot of friends buy in new developments, I never imagined we'd be in before February/March '09. I've dealt with the DOB before and there are always delays with Manhattan renovations. I've been tracking the project in the DOB info system and it looks like all the usual issues ... we haven't considered trying to renegotiate and from what we know it's not an option. We signed our contract in '07.
There was an idea a while back to unite with other buyers and renegotiate. Prices are trending down. I hope you don't find yourselves in a situation where other units are sold for 10% less this summer.
That's part of the risk you take when you buy real estate. Our priority is to have a home that we can afford in Manhattan.
Renegotiation is definitely an option these days. Ask around. Some time ago sponsors already started offering closing costs and I heard today from my RE lawyer that some sponsors are agreeing to discounts on top of closing costs. Uniting with other buyers also is a good idea to negotiate a better deal or to get out of the contract if delays continue (see Tribeca Space reference early in this chain). That said, my read of these posts tells me that there may be more Corcoran reps than real buyers posting here as of late -- so not sure how you could unite with other buyers.
Casa - do you know of anyone who has been able to renegotiate on a signed contract? My lawyer is willing to try anything to look out for us, but as far as we know, a deal is a deal. From having read our contract, the only reason that I can see the developer renegotiating with us is: if they don't close by their deadline of two years from contract signing; or if we threaten to walk away from our down payment.
I imagine that people walking into the sales office today have leverage to negotiate on a new contract since the market has slowed.
Seababy - I agree - if you have a signed contract, you have basically no leverage. The only chance any of us might have (at least at 45 John) is if the developer doesn't close the first apartment by the drop dead date (which I think was June 30, 2009 but could get pushed back to two years following a specific date which I don't recall - either way, it seems unlikely the first closing won't occur by June 30). You could threaten to walk away from your 10% deposit, but I'm not sure that is a good idea unless you really plan to do it (and I wouldn't be surprised if the developer said fine and just kept your deposit). I bought early in the offering timeline, but still think the prices at 45 John are pretty good (or at least not overpriced given the current market).
Trying to renegotiate on a signed condo contract seems like equivalent of going to a brokerage firm and asking them to forget that you bought a stock at a previous higher price. We were very aware of the risks when we went into the deal at 45 John.
From sponsor's perspective, there would be no incentive to negotiate if they believe they can lower the price by 10% (your deposit) and quickly sell the unit to another buyer. Pretty sure most sponsors are NOT confident that they would be able to do that in this market. You stand to lose 10% but they risk losing the 90% that they were counting on, a good portion of which is not profit but to cover construction and related financing costs. There must also be significant inventory costs in maintaining a large number of unsold units.
I am in contract at 45 john and plan to walk away, although I will try and negotiate a little first. Pricing alone is not the issue. For all these new developments which are undersold, bear in mind that should the developer go bankrupt, the owners who own the 48% sold become liable for building charges for the whole property. These are risky times. See NYTimes article this wknd on buyers walking away from 6 figure deposits. As for comments above regarding lack of leverage, I don't agree. The developer is not going to want anyone to back out regardless that they keep the deposit. The new price they would need to post in order to attract another buyer would be at least 20% below the current list price. We are in a strong position of leverage.
Everyone shoudl stay away from any new development that is not finished and almost completley occupied ( in my opinion) I just feel the downside is do scary. I have been seriously looking to buy for a year and for the first time think I'm going to wait and see what happens over the next couple of months
Shells--good luck, I hope it works out somehow for you
I actually take back what I said about a contract being a contract since reading the NY Time article from last Thursday. I do think there's leverage now that prices are set to fall more than 10%. (This is my assumption from reading the Times article about inventory that's due to hit the market from new construction.) If prices drop significantly more than 10% at 45 John and elsewhere then it only makes sense for me to walk away or try to renegotiate. Why would I close on an apartment if I can lose my 10% down and still end up paying less in total costs for a similar apartment elsewhere?
micrina, did they get their TCO in February and is the building really going to close in March? A friend lives close by and mentioned that there hasn't been much construction activity there. So either they are done or they have stalled? Perhaps at some point there would be a good argument to require the developer to provide a right to rescind and get back the deposit if delay continues. Maybe the sponsor can then auction off the building/units as-is. I remember there was so much activity when this building first opened and it was even mentioned in a couple of NY Times articles. Times have changed.