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Casa -- as far as I can tell from the DOB database, they have not filed for the TCoO. I am not an architect and may be reading the online information incorrectly. But, it clearly shows the old CoO for a commerical building.
For the record, I would rather renegotiate and still take the apartment. I love the layout of our unit and, as a family, we're truly excited to move to a new neighborhood. FiDi has what we're looking for at this point in our lives. Does anyone know what kind of incentives they are offering new buyers?
I have been told the construction inspections have started (no idea what that means) and that the building hopes to file for a TCO this month (then again, they have been saying that since January). The hallways (on floors 4-9) look like they only need the carpet and wallpaper, which shouldn't take more than a few days. All the lighting looked like it was in place (including the wall sconces). Lobby looks largely done, although I can't figure out what they plan to do with the long floating ceiling.
That sounds promising. Thanks for the update downtown1234!
I've been reading through this chain and would like to reach out to any who have a deposit down on a unit at 45 John and are frustrated by the myriad delays. I looked at units three times before I put down a deposit and each time I toured the building was told it would close late summer/early fall 2008. The Corcoran site now states that the top floors would not close until Winter 2009 and the answers from Corcoran are eternally vague (fall became November, then January, next April...) I just can't get a straight answer and I'd like to find anyone else who is frustrated and would be interested in collective negotiation.
Unforunately, I think that is the nature of new construction. My understanding is that floors 4-9 should have a TCO in the next 30 days - of course they have been saying that since December. If you toured the building, you likely know better than I, but my understanding is that but for wallpaper and carpet in the hallways, floors 4-9 are totally done (thus, appliances are in; hardwood floors are in, cabinets are in, fixtures are in, etc) - have you seen this to know whether it is true? Floors 2-3 will follow floors 4-9 by about 8 weeks and then the top of the building will follow after that.
Thank downtown1234. Even though they may be making headway on the interiors, it is my understanding that 45 John has not sold enough units (50%) to allow them to close on any of the building (to qualify for the financing). With this in mind, I wonder if other buyers are as concerned as I am about the misrepresentation of closing dates and also about being saddled with a largely un-sold building. Anyone?
Is the 50% a number needed for individuals to get financing? If so, I understand some lenders are willing to still write mortgages in the building; I can't remember who it is, but the sales agent said they are working with a lender who will finance. Is there another reason a building needs at least 50% sold? One thing that is concerning is I don't think 45 John has sold an apartment in many months.
Also, I think the Offering Plan requires the sponsor to complete the First Closing by July 1, 2009. If that doesn't happen, purchasers have the right to get their deposits back - that's when we would have real leverage to negotiate concessions. Either the Sponsor pushes hard and gets the First Closing done by July 1 or they will likely have a long line of people looking to rescind or re-negotiate. I'm sure the sponsor is aware of that which makes me think they will move mountains to make sure the First Closing occurs by July 1.
lookingforanswers and downtown1234, I think getting together with other buyers to try to get real answers is probably a good idea. This building is showing many of the symptoms of the Tribeca Space building (see the discussion chain there), which was plagued with delay after delay and eventually had to offer a right to rescind to all buyers. The Department of Building website shows that there are a handful of violations outstanding at 45 John, including a partial stop work order that is currently in effect. I think the risks of low occupancy (see 225 Rector Place debacle on Curbed and recent New York Times article) may be very real for this building and, with prolonged delays that have for sure strained sponsor's financing, the use of non-union workers and a history of trouble with the DOB, I would also have doubts about the quality of construction.
Casa - Agreed that 45 John looks like it's going down the same road as Tribeca Space and 225 Rector. TS was a debacle for pre-construction buyers and 225 Rector remains a hell-hole for current tenants. Did you read how Cooper Square Realty (the managing agent for 225 Rector) took all the tenant's property tax payments and put the money in the operating fund (which is now gone) instead of in escrow for the city? It's very possible that all the tenants will have to pay their real estate taxes again because the funds were squandered in the first place by Cooper Square. Very shady people. Good luck trying to get real answers from a developer that's in a financial bind. No one is going to go out of their way to make you whole. All the developers are scrambling to cover their own asses.
BTW: The link to what I was referring to is here: (If you haven't gotten screwed already, it's just because you haven't found out about it yet.)
To any would like to meet to discuss, here's my email: email@example.com
I do believe we'd have better luck obtaining accurate information as a group. Hope to hear from you soon.
As far as I can tell by digging on the DOB site, there is no COO or TCO (only COOs that date back to the '80s when it was still an office building) and there is a fine of $6,000 which was issued in September of 2008 and has still not been paid...for erecting scaffolding 40 ft. or higher without obtaining a permit.
hi - as someone who has been in contract since 2007 (see earlier posting) i am in agreement that the situation is utterly frustrating and very untransparent
I've walked by the building a few times over the last two months or so. Unlike last year when I would regularly see workers going into and out of the building and work clearly getting done, I never see workers going into and out of the building and have not seen any activity in a long time. Just my two cents, but I'm getting skeptical of the developer's claims of a soon-to-be-had TCO.
I went by last weekend to take a look at the status of the work. From the outside, the top 2 penthouse floors are clearly not even close to completion. Here are some pics from mid-Nov. http://www.flickr.com/photos/23074773@N00/sets/72157609081123479/
We have a deposit on a unit and are equally concerned. We have been told they are bringing in a new construction crew next week. Non Union? We are hoping to be able to get a right to rescind, but are also seriously thinking of walking away if necessary. We are not sure they will finish or can finish the building, etc. Thanks let's stay in touch. - Maison Deux
aside from waiting until July, has anyone here discovered any grounds for the right to rescind?
Wow, iMom and CASA, I kind of sensed from the beginning that the District, 20 Pine, William-Beaver, 99 John, etc. would eventually be in trouble, but I honestly thought 45 John would do well even in this economic climate, because it was rather smartly priced (sure, the monthlies seem high, but...), smaller, and well-constructed/presented. It would be horrible for the buyers if it had to go rental.
I almost bought a unit there last year, and I am sorry to hear about this problem. I work in the area, and, now I think of it, I haven't seen ANY activity in the bldg. in the last few months...AT ALL. I am sure they will find some way to finish the construction, but I hope the integrity of the construction won't be compromised.
Common charges seemed high ~ $1,400/month for 2BR. The units were priced "ambitiously" to put it politely and they never adjusted their prices to the softening market, so of course buyers stayed away. Vanderveen - I don't think they were smartly priced at all. This was not an "in demand" building but the marketing team tried to position and hype it as such, which obviously was a failed strategy. Plus it had the same marketing team that handled 25 Murray St (Tribeca Space) and you can read on the discussion boards how totally f'ed up that building was. All in all, a total recipe for disaster.
>Common charges seemed high ~ $1,400/month for 2BR
True, and the monthlies (CC plus taxes) w/o abatement would have easily topped $2,500 for a 1,200SF 2BR, which was the primary reason I stayed away from that bldg.
But given the super-high-end finishes (well, based on what they showed me, w/ every imaginable high-tech home tool to be had and every Bosch appliance on the market), $1,100/foot seemed more than reasonable to me. I guess I was blinded by the blings.
I've also been extremely frustrated since signing in June 2008. Frankly at this point, I hope they don't close before July 1st and we can all either renegotiate or get our deposits back. I'm not sure I have a choice since my appraisal came back much lower than my contract price. It's a shame too because of all the buildings in the area, this was my favorite. I'd still like to close but am afraid of the quality of the construction if the developer is having this much trouble. I certainly wouldn't want to close on the 1st TCO and worry about buying into a building that may or may not even be finished. It also sounds like the developer is pretty shady here so who can even trust him?
I'd be VERY VERY surprised if they closed by July 1st. The last time I walked by the building it seemed like they had WAY more than 3-months worth of work left to complete. Frustrated_45_John: I truly hope you get your deposit back but I'm nonetheless amazed that people (seemingly intelligent and accomplished people) were so eager to put down so much money on nothing more than a shiny brochure of computer-generated-images, a flashy website and a pre-staged model unit. As far as I can tell, 45 John (and most new developments, for that matter) were sold on nothing more than lofty promises and slick marketing campaigns. Now they have your money, won't return your calls and you're looking for a way out. Shame.
I'm not at all worried about my purchase at 45 john. As our deposit is held in escrow by a law firm and not the developer and the offering plan requires the developer to offer purchasers the right to rescind if the first closing hasn't happened by July 1, I feel very safe. If the first closing actually does happen (and I am beginning to think that is unlikely) then that means the building has a TCO and any major problems will have been worked out. If first closing doesn't happen by July 1, we get our money back. I understand that every new development has this right of recision (it is required by the NYAG) - if the first closing doesn't occur by the end of the first year of budgeted operations, purchasers are entitled to cancel the contact and get their money back. Also, deposits are held in escrow by law firms, not developers. If a law firm mis-handles the funds (including turning them over the the developer when not entitled to) then there are very serious consequences for that law firm.
iMom, developers know the power of the sub-zero frig and use it. :) If the building does not close by July 1st, it is like a "get out jail free card" for the victims.
downtown1234: If you knew then what you know now, would you have put that deposit down and signed that contract in the first place? Most people who pulled the trigger in 2007-2008 are wishing they didn't. If the developer doesn't meet his obligations and you get your deposit back, it doesn't mean you made a smart decision. It just means you got lucky and dodged a bullet. The trick is to not get in front of a loaded gun in the first place. You could have just as easily been one of the thousands who lost their deposits or are now stuck with negative equity in their new, shiny, glassy money-pits.
July 1 does give me some comfort, but downtown1234, let's say you close prior to July 1 on the first TCO (the builder is finishing the building on 3 TCOs), and the developer never finishes the building, aren't you concerned that you might be buying into a building that may never get finished? Also, I don't know when you signed your contract, but the market in NYC has most definitely fallen 20%-25% over the past year. Even if we were to not get our deposits back, to me it makes sense to walk from a 10% deposit loss than close on an apartment that is already worth much less than that. That doesn't even speak to the problem that with appraisals coming back low, the banks aren't even lending on the full contract price.
iMom, thanks for the input, but I'm not sure the "I told you so" argument is very helpful for anyone.
Frustrated: Neither is Downtown's attitude about being carefree in the face of arguably the worst economic downturns of our lifetime. Like I said, I hope you all get your deposits back and you get to walk away scott-free, but to be cavalier and to justify such an potentially costly mistake (as Downtown did) is simple and classic denial - like a victim of domestic violence who rationalizes reasons to stay with their abusive spouse.
Yes agreed iMom. I don't think a sit and wait attitude is appropriate either. The developer clearly misguided everyone who signed a contract and will have to pay the price if he wants anyone to close. There is no reason why we should be dragged through the process and continue to be negatively impacted by their constant incompetencies in getting this building finished. Frankly at this point, I still love the building, but am really not sure I want to close on it. But even if I were to get my deposit back after July 1, I didn't really like any other comparable building in FiDi that offers 1BR at similar prices. Any suggestions?
I don't have many details of the individual buildings in Fidi but I am sure that in the coming months you will have significantly greater choice and negotiating leverage regardless of neighborhood. Perhaps you may even find that a 2BR is within reach for what a 1BR was going for when you signed at 45 John. Also, try not to let your emotions be the primary guiding force with such a major decision ("I still love the building..."). Good sales people know how to induce that emotion and take advantage of you when it sets in. This is a major business transaction - not a relationship. Good luck.
At this point I'm more focussed on organizing with other people already in contract and using the group to negotiate. Collectively we should have a very power position to bring prices down to current market. Since I'm late to this message board, has any of this already happened? Has anyone actually talked to the sponsor?
iMom- I (and others) signed a contract. The fact that the market has gone down is unfortunate, but a risk we all knowingly took. I can't fault the developer because the market has gone down. Just as if I had bought a fully completed unit 2 years ago, I would not be trying to give it back to the seller - I signed a contract and am bound by it. However, so is the developer - the contract gives us a right to walk away if the first unit isn't completed by July 1. As much as I don't want to, I likely will. I still think the apartments look beautiful and even with the decrease in the market are not a bad value. However, the uncertainty is not something I will leave (nor am I bound to). If the developer gets things done by July 1 (a big if), I am confident I will look back in 3-4 years and be very happy I closed as even with the down market, these apartments have good finishes and over time will appreciate in value.
To answer your question, if I knew in 2007 what I knew now, would I still buy at 45 John? Yes. The 2007 prices (at least on some units) are at or above today's market prices. The finishes are beautiful and I think the construction is solid. Given that I have a July 1 walk away date (and I was aware of TriBeCa Space when I signed, so I was very conscious to make sure I had an outside date), I would do it all over again. For me, either July 1 comes with lots of closing and I move into a great apartment at a still fairly respectable price (that I am convinced will appreciate over time) or I get my money back and look for someplace else.
I suppose there is a risk that the developer will close on TCO1 and not finish the building. I don't know a lot of construction financing, but I would expect that at least some of the money from the closings has to be used to pay construction crews to finish the building (in addition to repaying the construction loan). Also, since 45 John, like most other buildings, is owned by a special purpose company (I think it is 45 John Street LLC or something like that), there may be a completion guaranty from the ultimate owner (Manhattan Capital) and it is unlikely manhattan capital will go under. It's probably worth looking into and discussing with our attorneys.
Honestly, my biggest concern is that since only half the building is sold, that the developer won't sell the other half and it will turn into rentals (and thus attract people who don't care about the building the way owners do). I'm hoping once closing start the developer will be able to get some quick sales (but that is only wishful thinking)
Downtown1234: All I can say is that I sincerely hope it works out for you and that the final outcome is to your satisfaction. Good luck.
It's interesting that most people have a July 1 walk-away date. Unfortunately, our contract says July 1st OR from date of signing contract (whichever is later). In our case, we have to wait until August to back out without losing our deposit.
Micrina - I'm getting the July 1 date from the second full paragraph on page 20 (Clause (ii) under "b. The Property") of the OM; are you perhaps looking at the third full paragraph on page 3 of the OM (which also contains a right of rescission).
Has anyone a recent update? Does it look like activity is picking back up? Any anticipation that they will make that July 1 date?
It looks exactly the same as it did 3 months ago: The cantilevered bar over the main entrance is still only framed out in wood and the front door glass is all smashed. There wasn't any noticeable change from looking at the outside of the building. I checked and there a partial stop-work order remains on the building due to violation. I can't imagine that they are going to finish the work and get the approvals done for a TCoO by July 1.
I'll have to look downtown1234. I'd love to be reading it wrong. It sounds likely that I am.
Micrina, I saw the same language as downtown1234 and it does seem to contradict itself in those two passages. I've asked my atty and I'm sure a week later I will get an answer. I love Manhattan real estate. lol.
There is clearly something wrong here -
Not a single construction worker in sight for 3-4 months;
the penthouses and lobby have not been touched for months;
developer says every month "TCO coming in 30 days" and pretends everything is ok;
partial stop work order (but that has only been for the last month or so - doesn't explain lack of activity for last 3-4 months);
Something is up - I just wish somebody would tell us what it was.
Has anyone been able to reconcile the discrepancy with regard to the rescission date that downtown1234 and micrina mentioned? There are 2 conflicting passages in the Offering Plan.
My reading is that there are two separate recission rights - One arises on July 1; the other on August 7 (two years following the signing of the first purchase agreement).
I have been reading through the recent postings and wanted to find out more about other buyers who are getting together. I think someone had posted an email address and I was wondering if anyone had responded or if anyone else is organizing a group.
I went into contract on a unit in 45 John in early 2008 and have the same concerns and frustrations as many others who have posted. I have been talking to my lawyer and mortgage broker about my options. I also read the same line in the offering plan - later of June 30, 2009 or 24 months from signing. I thought this was 24 months from my signing (meaning I would be stuck until early 2010) but I just saw someone post that it is 24 months from the signing of the first agreement (meaning August 7, 2009). Does anyone know which signing the offering plan is referring to? Also, can that line in the offering cancel out NY law which states 1 year from the expected completion date?
I work downtown and pass the building almost every day and agree that there has been no activity in weeks. The lobby is always dark and boarded up when months ago the lights were always on because of all the activity in the building.
I have also visited the building a few times since signing the contract and have noticed a number of issues with my unit - the kitchen was signifcantly damaged along with the floors. When I noticed this in my unit months ago, the agent acknowledged that they were aware of the damage and that they would fix it prior to closing (whoever installed the countertops managed to damage all of the cabinets and some tiles in the backslash). Additionally, some of the drawers were broken and the corian countertops were also damaged along with scratches in the wood floors.
I would be very interested in speaking with other buyers. If there is already a group organized, please let me know how to get in touch with you. If not, I will gladly start a yahoo group or some other forum for those in contract to communicate with each other.
45john_buyer - Email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to the list.
As for rescission rights, I don't have the OM in front of me, but I recall that the rescission right you are referring to (which I recall is on page 3 of the OM) was tied to the first contract signing (which I understand was August 7, 2007, based on materials sent to me by the devloper. The July 1 date of rescission is likely based on the one year delay you mentioned - the OM says condo operations were to begin on July 1, 2008, so one year later is July 1, 2009.
I also recall that rescission right are tied to the First Closing - it doesn't look they the First Closing is going to happen any time soon so I expect we will end up with a rescission right - despite what Kest & co claim.
45John_buyer, I have also reached out to the group and would like to organize. Is there a way to contact you? Have you heard from anyone else?
Someone has organized a group. You can send them an email at email@example.com to be added to the list.
Hi. I just walked by the bldg., and there were some movements for the 1st time in a long while!
There was a couple of workers, loading the truck right by their temporary entrance on Dutch street. I looked in, and the interior was EXACTLY how it was last summer around August. Absolutely no progress there, at least. I asked the workers what they were up to, but they were apparently Spanish monolingual. It looked like they were hauling away some office equipment... Maybe they are cleaning out their sales office?
They claim to have a new crew that is working hard to meet the deadline. I think there is still a fair amount of work to be done by July 1. Also, once the work is done, they still need to get the Department of Buildings to inspect, approve the building and then issue the TCO, which I am told takes a good amount of time. I talked to the sales agent at another new building downtown and it took the Department of Buildings 3 weeks after the inspection to approve a TCO (or whatever the equivilant is) for just an elevator.
I'm living in the area now and, also, saw the same crew on Dutch street. There has been some minor progress including fixing the broken glass at the main entrance. There doesn't seem to be a ton of work going on, at least, from outward appearances. My guess is that they won't have a TCoO by July 1 or even August 7, but you never know.
If they don't close by the deadline. What do you think will be the re-asking prices when everyone walks?
...and the movements some of us have reported earlier appear to have stopped. No workers or trucks for the last couple of days.
In fact, yesterday around lunch time, I walked by 45 John's entrance on Dutch Street, and here are the demographics:
1. A mentally-ill old man, sitting right in front of the entrance;
2. A younger drunken guy w/ a bottle, standing across from the bldg.; and
3. A homeless person sleeping between the entrance and the school/daycare(?).
I don't typically see homeless people in FiDi, so I wonder what this says about the general traffic surrounding this bldg... I thought I'd report.
Maybe the mentally-ill old man or younger drunken guy was the developer. It would explain SO much!
Construction stoppage and a cancelled open house this weekend (one of the biggest selling weekends of the year). Can't be good news for 45 John...
Here is a link to the building application for a TCO details:
I too am hoping they dont get their TCO in time, the delays, inconsistent messages, and unwillingness to lower their prices from what they were charging in a good market is very frustrating. This project could have been great, even in this market, but as someone who was signed on from the beginning, I am beginning to lose faith. If any other frustrated buyers want to get together to discuss options, as I have been speaking with a ton of professionals about this, please let me know. I am happy to try and arrange a meeting place.
Are you already part of the existing email group of buyers or do you need to be added?
According to the listings on this site, Prudential Elliman has two units in contract. How is that possible? I thought Corcoran was selling all of the units. Also, the Prudentials prices are much lower than what Corcoran has listed (or is in contract for). One of the Prudential listings is in contract at $905 per sq. ft. Does anyone know how this is possible?
I need to be added to the group, please let me know how to get added?
Just walked by the bldg. just a minute ago--and it was dead quiet again. I miss the movements some of us saw last week...I though we were finally getting the bldg. finished.
It is an eyesore right now--with the giant scaffolding over Dutch street that makes the entire area dark and dingy (and attract the homeless). If they are no longer working on that bldg., PLEASE do us a favor and remove the scaffolding!
45johnbuyer - do you know what that application means? Any idea if it means a TCO is close or if there is a lot of work to do? I can't tell from ready it.
45johnbuyer - To be added to the email distribution list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to the group list.
Here is an update.
The bldg. isn't ANYWHERE near being done, including the common areas and hallways. There are NO walls, ceilings, or most of the floors in place. In fact, it looks exactly how it looked last September, and I am not really sure what they have been working on... They couldn't possibly get a TCO by July. If they did, I'd be concerned about the construction integrity.
nyc212- just curious- what floors did you get a look at? Did you see actual apartments or just the hallways? I know the initial focus was to get floors 4-9 completed. A few months ago, I looked at floors 4-6 and it looked like all that needed to be done was add the carpet and wall paper (although I didn't go into any apartments - I just looked as I stepped out of the elevator doors). I also heard recently that the old contractor (who was fired by the bank for failing to meet completion deadlines) didn't properly complete the fire proofing (or something related to fire retardation) and so the new contractor has had to go back and re-do some of the work. Perhaps they had to tear about some drywall and ceilings to do that. About two weeks, I saw some people doing work on the pipes on the outside of the building that the firemen hook their hoses into.
On a related note, I checked the filings for 75 Wall - they applied for a TCO in June, but it wasn't granted until November. Consistent with that, I've had several people tell me that once you apply for the initial TCO, it usually takes a few months to get things right because the city never passes a building after the first inspection.
I agree - there is little or no chance of a TCO (and more importantly, an initial closing) by June 30 - I just wish the developer would let us out of our contracts now so we can make other arrangements.
Hi. I saw lower floors--and I am happy to hear that it was a result of the "re-gutting" rather than a complete lack of construction activities (I mean, it is too bad that they had to waste their time and resources on regutting, but you know what I mean...).
I wonder why the info provided by dt1234 hasn't been conveyed to the potential buyers and those in contract... That would certainly make sense and the potential buyers would feel a whole lot better if the construction delays could be attributed to these corrective measures rather than, say, lack of funds.
Anybody know what is going on at 45 John? There doesn't seem to be any work going - I wonder why?
The movement we saw a couple of weeks age has stopped. I don't even see that truck by the Dutch Street entrance.
The sales office claims all the inspections have been completed and that they are hoping have a TCO soon (by the June 30 rescission date). The lobby doesn't look any different than it did a month ago and there hasn't been any workers onsite in weeks. Also, if closings are really expected to begin soon, you would think they would send 30 day letters to buyers on floors 4-9 so they can start closings right after the TCO is obtained. I would also expect some open houses and PR push if closings were near - instead, I have seen no open houses in over a month and the sales office has been closed. Bottom line - I think claims of a TCO coming by the June 30 deadline are BS.
45_J, I think your description pretty much sums it all up. The absence of sales office activities is a tip off.
I walk by the bldg. daily. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that they had removed the dumpster that used to be on Dutch Street, and there has been absolutely NO activities in and around the bldg. since then. This doesn't exactly scream, "we are getting there!"
I had a friend call and leave a couple messages with the sales office over the last few weeks - none of them were returned. Certainly not a sign of a place interested in selling apartments
What is going on at this place - the website has been been removed and corcoran no longer lists any properties for sale at 45 John. No TCO, I take it.
It's official, gentle and ladies men. They just took down the orange awning and the rest of the sale signs from 45 John. How unfortunate. I hope, with the exception of the evil developer, no one, and I mean NO ONE, is being adversely affected by this financially.
What will become of the building?
What is official? What happened to 45 John?
Anybody know anything about this building? Is it going to come back on the market? Will they be condos or rentals?