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AZURE intelligence! == new construction on 91st & 1st

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so spent a bunch of time there recently ... here's the deal: the prices are reasonable - hard to say "cheap" since who knows what new stuff is really worth these days; key drawback is the 'hood....true, its "UES", but the location "feels" very very different from just a few blocks to the west, east or south....and its 1 block from some public housing projects to boot......

they are 15% sold according to the person i met with today - so they have a loooooooonnnng way to go - so risk they may not fill it...

any one else looked at this place? hard to ignore given the prices and nice apartments - but the ' i wrong?

Don't go near this development. I know it all too well . . .

Azure was one of the first places my wife and I looked at seriously in spring 2008. We live in that neighborhood (92nd and York), and like it very much.

Some important facts about Azure: (1) It's a 75 year land lease, so when they say that their prices are 20% lower than those of other luxury developments in the 'hood it's simultaneously true and grossly misleading, as a 75 year lease SHOULD sell for at least 20% less than a freehold. (2) They claimed to be 15% sold back in April 2008 - this means they haven't sold a thing since then.

I spent $4500 on legal fees reviewing the offering document. The lawyer I chose works for major developers, and he said he'd never seen such a complicated and worrisome offering document. This place simply will not sell in this market - only rentals can keep it afloat.

The reason the units are less expensive is because they are co op. And I believe the city has modified the 75 year land lease to allow the building to PURCHASE the land outright, which provides significant upside. All of Battery Park City is a land lease; not sure why suddenly this is a big deal. The arrangement allowed the developer access to an unusally large parcel of land in exchange for construction of a "gifted" middle school just next door (however entrance is on 92nd rather than 91st.

Yes, there is a project on the next block but it is a "project" -- a hotel with valet parking is directly opposite the project, as well as several luxury condos.

Tanker, very curious where you ended up / what you thought was better value in comparison to the Azure.

smv - Azure is not a co-op, it is a condop. That is very different. The units are only less expensive because at the end of 75 years the land (and the building on it) reverts to the city unless another lease is negotiated - at a price, naturally, which will be borne the unit-holders. If the building ultimately buys the land, the cost will also be borne by the unit buyers. Furthermore, as I learned from the offering document, the sponsors took out a $20 million 10-year interest-only mortgage on the building - in ten years time, unit-holders will have to shell out enormous sums (about $150k for the unit I was considering) to pay off the mortgage. As for the school, yes that was the deal the developer cut with the city - instead of the city paying to build the school on-budget, they get the school built by the developer off-budget by sacrificing revenues through a tax abatement. No free lunch for anybody - not the city, not the kids, not the buyers.

As for me, I am in the process of buying a co-op on East End Avenue - much more space, much better view, much lower price.

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"this one sucks so badly it isn't even quantifiable" 'One-liner of the week' award for this one

Azure is not a co-op, it is a condop

a condop is a co-op

you are buying shares in a corporation, get a stock certificate and a proprietary lease to reside in the unit you purchase. Legally, a condop is a coop. Its the rules and bylaws that make the coop behave more like a condo - i.e., flexible subletting policies, pied-a-terre policies, parents buying for children, more flexible financing, etc..

condop is simplay a marketing term made up to fit this unique combination into its own term.

Aint this the place with the fatal crane accident last year

urbandigs - my point is that the units are not 20% cheaper (as Azure advertises) because it is a condop. It is because it is a leasehold. Long leases routinely sell at 20% discounts, which obviously turn into much larger discounts as expiration approaches . . .

EZrenter - yes, Azure is the site of the crane accident.

falcogold - I've shopped a lot on EEA, as we love the quiet, the park, and the river views. Everyone's taste is different, obviously, but here are some potentially useful observations: (1) The larger buildings have considerably lower maintenance charges - focus on them; (2) If you like river views, take a partial view rather than an unobstructed one, as premiums for the latter are huge; and (3) avoid the newly renovated places, as sellers are unreasonably wedded to the idea that buyers should pay up for them - you're better off renovating yourself (I have a friend who is an architect/contractor, which obviously helps). Good luck . . .

they have convincing answers on all the land lease questions. i have to hire a lawyer to sure, of the past few months they've restructured the land lease - now at 75 years, there's an option to renew for 50 they're really pitching it as a "125 year" lease at this point.

Just called my lawyer - he will review offering document and i will post summary of his opinion as soon as i have it......thx tanker for the great heads up - will be interesting to compare notes.

Regarding the offering document - if you demand it in advance, they will make the $200 fee for the offering plan refundable if you don't go to contract.

thx so much - that sounds reasonable....i guess

UES - you have a plan for getting financing? I don't know who would lend in a development 15% sold.

tanker - HSBC has agreed to work with anyone buying in the building - 20% loan to value. i haven't talked to HSBC yet though, so i don't know what rates are (Azure reps say they are good rates, but who knows).

UES - I assume your lawyer will tell you this as well, but if you decide to go to contract make sure you have a robust mortgage contingency clause. Fannie and Freddie are requiring 70% of units sold before they will buy the mortgage, so Azure is not an attractive development to lend into.

Condops are structured with residential and professional (commercial) "Units". The residential unit is the Coop and has all the structure of a usual Coop. All the residential apts reside in the Coop. Expenses related to the apts will be paid from the Coop, such as the real estate taxes, thus the residential unit is charging the apt owners the maintenance. The residential unit will own some percentage of the Condo entity, with the professional unit (most likely retained by the sponsor). The Condo receives allocations from the residential and professional units based on their ownership interest in the Condo. The Coop while covering the RE taxes in the Coop form will have to charge enough maintenance to fund it's piece of expenses that the Condo is responsible for (i.e. the lease land rent).

What you have to be careful of is the above method of allocation between the interests that own the Residential and the Professional. Remember who wrote the offering plan--The developer and most likely the owner of the Commercial unit.

FYI - i'm a real estate pro w/ 16 years experience - i've looked at azure carefully - its really interesting situation:

updated offering memo that has terms of REVISED land lease still not available......even before this is done i'm told the building is RAISING asking prices on certain units.....they haven't gone into contract on a unit in a year - they are betting on market recovery and developers seem to be in utter denial that there's a project 100 feet from the building....apts are very very nice, but there are significant barriers to purchase here upon close guess after doing some research is that this bldg WILL SELL since the apts are so nice (finishes, views, layouts are 1st rate) --- BUT THEY WILL NEED TO COME DOWN AT LEAST 20% from current asking prices if they want to move the units within a year....they likely don't want to do that now since the developers don't know if the market will recover or not.....if they don't move units in next 3-6 months, look for price drops at least during negotiations......they likely want to wait for the wall street people to get their bonuses in Jan/feb before making pricingdecisions.......developers i'm told just don't know what units in this bldg are worth yet so probably don't want to drop prices before "testing" the waters for 3-6 months after release of the revised land lease/offering memo..........i'm told HSBC made the loan on the underlying property and therefore HSBC is offering VERY below market rates to propsective buyers with excellent credit -- also i'm told that developers may offer to buy points for buyers to lower rate even clearly there is an air of desperation.......but there is the potential for good deals here if the market stays rationale: which, in my opinion, means buyers wait till prices drop another 10%, and then bids come in 10% under that ---- which, in the end, means 20% below current asking prices.....

bottom line here is that the developers probably want to comp themselves against new developments on the UES down in 80s and 70s...but those new buildings (e.g. brompton) aren't really comps.....comps are other nice new buildings in areas NEAR LOW INCOME HOUSING-- LIKE IN THE 50S ON THE WEST SIDE or even some nice newer places on the LES...

this is one of the more interesting situations i've seen in my many years of real estate....

will be fun to watch it play out



Researcher - Very nice post. Thank you so much for your input.

I have hired a lawyer and her advice has been remarkably similar to yours. Until they release the updated land lease terms, its just impossible to understand the risks/benefits of that situation.

I also agree that the apartments themselves are very nice.

I also agree with your commentary around the "projects." They are literally 100 feet away as you point out. They are not hidden in any way. You can see them from all the units with North exposure.

So the 'hood may improve over time, but the 'hood's development will likely stop right at 92nd street, where the projects are. Thats a significant problem longer term.

Two additional problems: (1) 1st avenue from 86th to 91st isn't very nice. Its not dangerous, its just that its not "cute" the way lower blocks are; and (2) the building is attached to a PUBLIC school - althought the entrance to the school is on 92nd (vs 91st for the Azure), middle school kids will be "hanging out" on the block and the school will take up space that could have been used to "upgrade" the neighborhood.

You are also correct that they are comparing themselves to new developments in much nicer parts of the UES. In fairness, the units are priced (on average) at a discount to these other developments. However, the "discounts" are to ASKING prices -- and I know from broker friends that these other developments are going into contract at about 10-20% below asking. Therefore, your logic on the Azure's pricing is sound, I think.

Think about it: Azure is asking about 20% below other UES develop right now. So if other developments sell units at an average discount of about 15%, Azure will definitely need to match this.

There is SIGNIFICANT re-sale risk at the Azure. They are only 15% sold and they are in a clearly non-prime location. Buyers will likely need to be fairly compensated for this risk. The 20% traditional "land lease" discount is NOT enough. Buyers will need an add'l discount to get comfortable.

I have several friends with a lot of money looking at this building, and they all seem to generally view it the same way.

I also agree that this will be interesting to watch!

throw lucida, geogica and isis into the picture and gets even more ugly. much trouble brewing for UES RE.

Checked it out a few weeks back - very nice apartments. Broker is great (Luis I think was his name). My sense is there are deals to be had here. If you're looking for space and have a young family, this deserves a look.

I strongly suggest bidding 30% under the asking price at this development. Settle for no more than 15%-20% under asking. I hear Azure is raising prices soon - this is absolutely insane in this environment. I fear this move will will create ill will towards the developers.

There are still MANY units left in Brompton, Lucida, Georgica, and many other new UES developments. These developments are negotiating in good faith at 20% below asking for premium units. That brings them very close to Azure.

My Wall Street clients tell me that most of their bonus will be in STOCK this year. That won't buy condos, unfortunately.

Azure says they've re-negotiated the land lease on more favorable terms recently. Anyone know about this?

I think the asking prices (listed here on SE) are insane for that location. $1.2m and above for 1100 square foot 2 bedroom is terrible given that its not in a "prime location". Take 30% off of the ask gives you $840k, which is $763 psf and thats a LITTLE better, but still nothing to get excited about. Those prices are available lower downtown (444 East 86th comes to mind) in what most would consider a much more desirable location. With so much vacancy, this place really needs to be priced at $500 psf for people to notice it in my opinion.

Bandit - you are right. I just visited the building. They've gone to contract on than 15% of the units. They pitch the land lease as the best land lease every, but its going to take 15 lawyers to explain it. Thats bad for re-sale. Even if the land lease is great, thats bad for re-sale. People don't have patience. Also there are personal injury/liability cases against the developer pending. Who knows where that goes.

Low income housing nearby this development is a killer. Upper east side has almost no projects. Except the one RIGHT BY this buidling. Its not like Chelsea or UWS, where they're kind of all over the place. Who would live here unless pricing is at a big discount. 20% for land lease and 20% for low income housing is needed to move these units. No question in my mind. Price increases are a mistake for this developer. Finishes don't sell homes when its said and done. Location and price do sell homes. Location stinks, so price better be perfect - not good, but perfect.

helper - I've lived right next door to the development, in a pricey Glenwood building, for 10 years. I've never felt the least bit threatened by anyone at the development. I think Azure is a no-hoper in this market, owing mainly to the land-lease and the $20m mortgage on the property, but I don't think the development is a significant issue.

How do the maintenance charges compare to other new construction ? Presumably once the 421 abatement goes away monthly charges for owners will increase

They are asking $1.90 per sq foot for common charges! And will likely go up over time - especially when the re-appraisal of the underlying land can happen, which is in 30 years, I believe. So this will affect re-sale.

wow - just reading this thread for the first time - this situation is really sad

I have researched this development. It is not a condop as the ads say. Its a Co-op plain and simple. Read the find print in the offering documents. So it should be priced as such. Co-ops in locations like this (near low income housing, nowhere near Park Avenue) typically sell for about $800 per sqaure foot. This development is massively overpriced. Beware.

I am so glad I just found this thread. I am not a broker or even in the real estate market. But my brother looked at this place. He sat down to talk price and the developers he said are in total denial (perfect way to describe it!!) about the property. So I'm not sure its worth even looking. He says the units are really nice (not fantastic, but nice), but that the devloper is very difficult and doesn't understand the market. And they are very slick and try to confuse you with numbers and spreadsheets he said. Sounds really scary to me.

Love the passion :)

I have taken a few clients to this buidling. The broker representative is excellent. However, I would agree with the postings above that building is over-priced. Its sad because the prices aren't even close to being market rates for what they have to offer.

Also, they have eliminated the mortgage on the underlying property I am 99% sure, so that is good.

However, the land gets to be re-appraised in 30 years. That's not so far away when you are considering re-sale. If you're going to live there for 10 years, that will almost certainly affect re-sale. And remember that maintenance is HIGHER here than at true condos, and it will probably go up if re-appraised at higher values.

My advice would be to bid 30-40% below here. I am negotiating deals at 2 other new UES developments that are in better locations and they are all accepting bids 20% or so under asking. Georgica, for example. So be very careful when you look at what Azure people tell you are 'comparables.'

So in summary I agree that this one is a "no-hoper" unless they make it very compelling on price.

Interesting thread - thanks everyone!

"I have researched this development. It is not a condop as the ads say. Its a Co-op plain and simple."

Well, that certainly depends on what definition of "Cond-op" you use: the legal one or the popular one.

Any updates on the building? Just went to look at the models on the 26th floor yesterday and it is really a great space? But the agent did tell me that it is only 10% sold??

there are plenty of other half-empty condo developments where you can do better

Train wreck I fear. Would recommend going to Georgica to find values and good space. Its 40% sold and only about a mile away I believe.

bad karma too - crane collapse?

Some info Azure emailed me after I showed a client the models and actual units (close to be completed):

"Azure offers some of the finest residences on the Upper East Side. But we offer even more………..
1) Low pricing for new tower construction on the Upper East Side.
2) 10 years of 421 tax benefits. Additional tax benefits for years 11-20!
3) Only 10% down Payment until closing!
4) NO board approval, NO board interview, NO subletting restrictions, NO mortgage recording tax, NO flip taxes!
5) High potential for appreciation from the construction of the 2nd Avenue Subway.
We expect the building to be completed by February 2010!"

My team had an accepted offer here for 28% off listed price, but client backed away because of the complicated offering plan, monthly carrying costs, etc. (He felt for his needs as an investor; it did not make sense). So we moved on in the search.

NO subletting restrictions: uh, do they mean, "few"?

Has the Azure sprung some leaks? For the past few weeks, I have noticed workers riding up and down the sides of the building on scaffolding with caulking guns. With near zero temperatures can whatever substance they are using in the frigid weather to patch up the outside be expected to be long-lasting, protecting the inside?

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Yeah I just got the updated availability list and everything is ~20% less then previously listed. All are around $950/square foot. These prices are much better then Georgica which is still $1300/sq......I am so torn but I need to find a place soon...

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Isis? Lucida?

Reading their sales pitch on SE makes me feel like I am watching late night info mercials. Like "75 year lease with a buy out" BUT wait there's MORE... another 50 years tacked onto the 75 years if we don't buy....

Just pay the additional shipping and handling and let Azure mail it in. I agree there is too much complexity here.

I paid a top developer's lawyer a king's ransom to review the offering plan in spring 2008, and he insisted I shouldn't touch the place - the plan was the most complex he had ever seen. Streetview is right . . .

AnaNM - you can't possibly be so desperate in a buyer's market like this. I just bought a wonderful 3-bed co-op in Yorkville for about $800 a square foot - with no "75 year lease," $20m interest-only mortgage on the building, or other hazards.

what about the maintenance ? is it inclusive of the re tax ? its looks high..

I was there this weekend and the agent said they are not revealing the monthly maintenance right now as they are currently applying to increase the charges!

Anyone notice that they actually increased prices?

Can anyone provide information about the maintenace? It is beyond high. I live in the area in a high end luxury building and need to buy a three bedroom... but the maintenance is very high. Too high for some reason.

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saw the place over the weekend. Beautiful, spacious, well laid out apts.
The lower floors suck, since they face the 1st av and 91st St. The buildings around are not very appealing, the neighborhood seems very crowded ( especially after living in the riverside on the West ) still not that bad since the Asphalt Green is right there. The maintenance is high and is bound to go up at least 20% every 2 years.
They are willing to negotiate big time, take the tab on closing costs, but is this a safe deal. The occupancy is stated at Jun 2010 but I doubt it. A lot of work is yet to be done.
I have not read the offering sheet but please, do need a very honest opinion. How should I go about this if I am interested in buying here.

Higher maintenance should lead to lower buy in prices. Have they decided to appeal to lower buy ins to attract those who can carry a higher maintenance?

Its a land lease...stay away...if your going to spend money on buying an apt buy into something that appreciates...there are no advantages of a land lease building...only if you get a veryyyyyyy good price and try to resell in a a couple of years...or plan to rent it as an investment...look elsewhere there are soooo many other new developments to choose from..

actually...just if you are going to rent it....resale will be a nightmare for the land lease issue

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alijafri...what are some of the new prices?

Hey Ali, nice brokerage work! The Maintenance being 41% deductible is not new news. It has been for some time. Maybe you just learned that yourself. It's frightening what else you probably don't know.

And regarding offers, last time I checked, an offer is simply that. Where are the signed contracts? I represented a buyer who made an offer and it never progressed because the sponsors would not come down to a figure that properly compensated for this project being a land lease cooperative that after 2 years on the market is STILL NOT EFFECTIVE.

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Buy now or be priced out forever!!!!!!!!

From the first post in this thread: "they are 15% sold according to the person i met with today"

From an hour ago: "We just need 15% to be effective. With more than 10 contracts signed we just have a few more to go"

And the reason anyone should believe anything coming out of the sales office and brokers is...?

I wouldn't believe anything they say. These brokers just recently "discovered" that maintenance is 41% deductible even though it has been that for at least a year. The contracts they claim to have signed also represent the cheapest units in those lines; which they probably are heavily discounting. They will never sell the higher floors at anywhere near the current asking prices; especially since unabated maintenance nears $3 a square foot which is outrageous. Any current potential buyer also has the specter of bank foreclosure looming heavily. I would wait until after the bank forecloses and then buy directly from the bank at the greatly reduced prices.

This is a sad situation. The apartments are actually beautiful and the prior agents at BHS were great, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to price. A buyer must be compensated for his risk and this is a very risky property. It's even scarier now that the new brokers claim they'll be even less neogitiable when they become effective. I believe the bank may foreclose before that happens. Who'd be crazy enough to buy here the way things are now?

Star8360/lsender - Agree, apts are beautiful so very interested in your comments. Do you have any information about HOW close this bldg is to foreclosure? Under what conditions do you think the lender would foreclose on the developers? Thanks.

It's obvious the new brokers haven't been able to sell it either. As has been said above, it is about price, not marketing. They have less than 10 units sold. The building is essentially complete, but no one can move in because it is not effective. It is a matter of time before they will have to allow those few buyers to rescind because they haven't been able to declare effective by a certain date. If they do manage to reach "effective" I would be very leery of the prices they offered to do it. The Elliman broker above states they will be "much less negotiable" after they're effective. However, if they sold units very cheaply to get there, they will affect the appraised value of future units sold which will affect the amount of mortgage that people get. Not to mention that the only game in town for this building is HSBC and they have been notoriously difficult. No other bank will touch this building.

Agreed! Back in December, the sales agent said they had 10 contracts out for signature. It appears that none of them signed and that Bracha hasn't been able to bring in any additional sales either. They remain at 6-8 units under contract. The building is complete, but no one can move in. This is a very risky building to buy in. The developers have waited too long to reduce prices. Now, there is a real risk of foreclosure. Who would buy here now? I would stay away from this property. You'll be able to buy it much cheaper after the back takes it back.

Its been a few wks - wonder if the elliman broker can give us an update on how many contracts are signed now? SE says the same set of apts are still fully available (i.e., not in contract). Any closer to being declared effective (15% sold)?

Yep! 2 months after the new brokers were brought in and they have made virtually no difference. It's obvious that it wasn't the marketing, it is the price, pure and simple. When they drop the prices an additional 20% this will sell as it is a beautiful product. Had they reduced prices earlier they would have been much better off. Now, with the spectre of foreclosure, they need to reduce prices significantly more to get people to sign. It may not be enough. But Bracha must have said he could sell it at current prices. Well, Ilan......where are your buyers?????

So I see that Azure is now advertising its "Grand Opening" How is this possible? How do you have an opening when no one can move in? Construction may be complete, though I have my doubts about that as well, but a Grand Opening implies that buyers can move in immediately. Sadly, this is not the case.

How can we know if there is a foreclosure? and what are the risk for the one signing now at very low price even if there is a foreclosure?
maybe it is time to buy at an incredible price since they want to sell

they claim that they will start closing early June and open the building at the same time
but will it happen?
what happen if people close and the building file for foreclosure?

I received an email on Friday from the Azure (am on their mailing list) and supposedly 19 contracts were signed in April. If you believe that and add the ~10 they already supposedly had, that's 29 contracts total and well over the ~18 they needed to be declared effective. This makes foreclosure less likely (but still far from guaranteed).

what are the closing at right now

I don't beleive that 19 contracts could have been signed in one month unless it was in a bulk sale. Generally, bulk sales occur at a very low price per square foot and these developers were desperate to declare effective; hence they finally came to grips with reality and did the deal. However, this bulk sale at a very low price which will affect future appraisals of units that follow. This is very risky for people who are financing. What happens if you pay $1.3MM and are financing 75%, but the appraisal comes in at $1MM? Will the developer allow the buyer to back out of the purchase or honor the new appraisal price? I would insist on some clause to that effect. It also means there will be lots of rentals in the building and possibly other issues like one owner owning more than 10% of the units; making financing in the building (already extremely difficult with just HSBC on board) even worse. Also the building is not FHA approved. Once again, too many issues with this building and too many unanswered questions.

they claim contracts but building is not open and was to open several months ago so contracts could fall off if they still do not open in june

Good point Star8360. It probably is a bulk sale. This building is complete, but (surprise surprise) has not closed on a single unit because they've had virtually no sales. Unless they did a bulk sale, the banks would have no choice but to foreclose because it simply isn't selling for all of the reasons stated above. A bulk sale now makes the problems even worse as future appraisals will be negatively affected. The apartments weren't worth anywhere near what they were asking before and now they are worth that much less! Had they been more realisitc in pricing a year ago, they would be in a much better position today, but they refused to lower prices under the old brokers and are now forced to via a bulk sale under the new brokers. I say they'll be much more affordable when you are able to buy them directly from the bank.

I wonder if anyone has an "in" with the bank or the developer...dying to know how close they are to foreclosure.

Any building that has been under construction for almost 3 years, is completed and has virtually no sales, has to be on the verge of foreclosure. The potential bulk sale throws a wrench into all of it as well, since it is not clear that people will now want to buy into this white elephant when 19 homes (one sixth of the entire building) may have seen sold at fire sale prices. This creates even more uncertainty. Note that the Elliman brokers have stopped posting here. Bracha is probably speechless. If you still want to buy here, get a clause that allows you to pull out in the event of foreclosure or sponsor default and also if it doesn't appraise for the sale price. Also, push off the close date until the fall at the earliest because if a foreclosure happens it'll be in the next few months and you don't already want to have closed and deal with that.

This MUST be a bulk sale. There is no way they could have signed 19 contracts in a month. If they had, they would be on the cover of NY Times Sunday Real Estate section! But they're not. They sold in bulk at a very low price and all it changes is that, maybe, they can declare effective. What it doesn't change is that the buying public still won't buy and if they do they run the very real risk of dealing with foreclosure and appraisal issues; to say nothing of the garbage transfer station that will probably end only a block away. Azure may still make the cover of the NY Times, but the story will be "What went wrong?" Hmmmm! That would be a great story for them.

So the website is now announcing 19 signed contracts and I am declaring "Shennaigans!" No one in this market has 19 contracts signed in a month unless it is a bulk sale. Especially for a project with so so many problems as this one. I challenge Ali, the Bracha broker, to state on this site that these 19 "sales" were bona fide individual buyers who will live in their homes and not a bulk purchase that will negatively impact all future appraisals and result in a bunch of renters in the building. I could understand if they announced an additional 20% drop in prices, but they have not. There is no rational reason how they could have had virtually no sales over 3 years and now, lo and behold, with the project facing foreclosure, miraculously signing 19 contracts. There simply aren't that many stupid people! So, I call Shenanigans! When it is proven that it is a bulk sale, it will show that individual buyers are not stepping forward to buy at their current asking prices. If they get the same deal as the bulk purchasers, probably between $600 - $700 psf, then yes, these units will sell in spite of the very high maintenance charges and all of the other issues noted in prior posts. Thoughts anyone?

Looks like we weon't hear a response from Ali from star8360's declaration of "Shenanigans"! Per The Real Deal this morning, Ali Jafri has quit. Apparently, the challennge of selling this elephant is just too much for him. LOL! The sponsors only choice is to drastically cut prices to unload the remaining non rental units.

Wow!!! Here is one of the comments from the Real Deal article:

I can see why Ali Jafri wanted out! LOL! He was heading up sales at Azure for the last 2 months and apparently all they could manage is a recent bulk sale. However, individual buyers are still no where to be found and will be even more difficult now that appraisals have been sabotaged due to the very low prices a bulk sale usually garners. Azure will most likely end up in foreclosure. A lack of continuity at the sales staff adds to their considerable challenges: Land Lease, Cooperative, Incredibly High Maintenance, Virtually No Sales (other than bulk) in almost 3 years, poor location, Housing Projects around the corner, Waste Transfer Station slated just a block away, 2 schools with hundreds of kids literally right next door, oh, and very high prices for what they are selling. Yes, Ali did the smart thing and got out!

fascinating. I had actually met Ali when I went to see the Azure a few wks ago. He claimed he was buying in the bldg himself - guess that's not happening now! This is one bldg to watch. I wonder how long the developers have until the next payment is due...

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As a broker, I could not in good conscience represent a buyer in this building. Certainly not now. When the only sales they can sign is a bulk sale, and the new sales director quits after just 2 months on the job; that speaks volumes. There was no way Ali was going to buy here. I wonder if the sponsors themselves have bought! It is truly astounding that this building hasn't gotten more press about how bad the situation is here. The Apthorp and Manhattan House have been raked through the coals in the press, but barely a peep about a building that is complete but sitting empty! That bulk sale is just the nail in the coffin before foreclosure. I reiterate, there simply can't be that many stupid buyers in the market and the brokerage community already knows to keep their buyers away from this project. Bracha now needs to buy the units himself! LOL!! How soon before Bracha is fired?

I have been closely following this thread. I don't think there is any disagreement that the aprts are lovely, well-finished, laid out nicely. The area is not for everyone, we lived on 88th by York and loved it. We had no idea projects were even nearby.

At Azure are looking at smaller units on lower floors so the views definitely were not good. The building does appear to be nearly complete. At least the lower floor units. All I could see that wasn't really done was finishing work in some of the elevators, and some of the common areas need furniture. Gym appeared fully equipped, minus only towels.

The disadvantages are clearly out-lined above, and are definitely worthy of serious consideration. Thank you so much for pointing this out to us, as we are nyc real estate newbies.

This weekend they were clearly ready to deal. They told us not to pay attention to listing prices. The salesperson did reveal the bulk sale, confirming the rumors above, and implied we could get in on similar pricing. However, given what has been said, I think the actual bulk psf was less than what we were told. Given all of the real risk associated with this building...what would be a good psf? If they do go into foreclosure, what would happen to us if we did actually purchase or go to contract? The person in sales insisted the sponsor is in no danger foreclosing, but that is to be expected I suppose.

Anyone with further insight or have similar experiences w/ Azure recently? We don't want to be one of the "stupid buyers" that star8360 is talking about. So is there any price at which a purchase here makes sense? Thanks!

Wow! So it has been confirmed. It was indeed a bulk sale! So sad. It confirms that they could not find individual purchasers to buy into this building and the only way they could declare effective was to sell as bulk. Sadly, had they reduced prices to a realistic amount just 6 months ago they wouldn't be in this awful situation now. How will Bracha provide assurance to a buyer that this will not go into foreclosure when the evidence is all around that it is quite near. Assuming that the bulk buyers got a price in the mid 600's psf and that current buyers might be able to get a price close to that, then I would say the price is worth the risk. But the on site has to be lying to say that someone walking in off the street could get that price. I would pass unless I got an out clause in the event of foreclosure AND a cluse that the developer would honor the appraisal price if it indeed comes in significantly lower due to the bulk sale prices. Theat seems very fair to me.

Ooops, my previous post may have been unintentionally misleading. My husband says the sales rep used the term "group deal", not bulk sale, when talking about the deal. Sorry, in my mind I guess I thought they were the same thing...maybe they are, we don't know.

She definitely did imply we could possibly get in on similar pricing to this "group deal"....but when my husband tried to press for specific numbers, we were nowhere close to mid-600 psf, the best she would commit to was something well north of that.

Honestly, I did not detect an air of desperation from our sales rep. There was a definite feeling of negotiability but she was not at all aggressive. We actually had a very positive experience there. If it does go to foreclosure it will be very sad...I have to trust the experts to read the signs regarding foreclosure, again, we didn't see any signs of imminent problems of that sort.

"Group Deal" and Bulk Sale are the same thing. It does not change the facts. As has been stated above, they have been unable to sell at any price for almost 3 years to anyone but a bulk buyer. Why? Because they have been unwilling to negotiate to a price low enough to compensate for all of the deficiencies this building has. Now, they have added a new issue; a bulk sale that will reduce the appraised value of all of the apartments remaining because a bulk sale, by definition, has a "significant discount" not available to an individual buyer. The building is beautiful, but if you decide to proceed with a purchase, ask for a clause that will ask the developers to honor the appraised price if it comes in lower and ask for a clause that allows you to cancel the contract in the event of foreclosure. I am steering my clients away from this building because who wants to deal with that? If you buy and the bank takes the building back, apartments will then be sold or auctioned by the bank for significantly less than what you paid. Why would you willingly put yourself in that position? I believe you'll be able to pick these apartments up directly from the bank later this year after foreclosure.

Star why do you feel so sure that they will go into forclosure? I agree very overpriced for a land lese co op

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