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building at 1280 Fifth Avenue
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New restaurants (lexington social at 104/lex and agua frwsca at 117/3rd) might be signs of things to come in east harlem. Agree that projects on madison are a problem but if cpn develops this can still be a great building. Apartments are very nice--in my opinion much nicer than 1212. Will see if new broker can do anything. Some of those in contract have moved in. Others have contingencies like rt to withdraw if they don't sell x% by a certain date.

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>>> lrc666 "Apartments are very nice--in my opinion much nicer than 1212. Others have contingencies like rt to withdraw if they don't sell x% by a certain date"

Not sure the market agrees with your assessment. 1212 has been selling for less than six months and already has reached the 15% threshold to be effective, which 1280 has struggled to reach. 1280 has already undergone a series of price reductions, whereas 1212 has increased prices on some of their units.

While the relative success of 1212 vs 1280 may be related to the more favorable location of 1212, I suspect part has to do with the apartments themselves. Certainly, when I visted few months ago, I felt the quality of finishing in 1212 was much better than in 1280.

Time will prove to be in favor of 1280. East Harlem, yes - but also across the street from central park. People felt in years past to not touch anything above 57th street. Then 96th Street now 110th. With Harlem improving and the building having the "last spot" on fifth and central park - 1280 will prove to be a steal in the future.I have news for everyone who does not want to admit it, or cannot see long term trends - Harlem is cool and is cheap comparted to Manhattan. 1280 is in that sweet spot.

the question is not whether the location will improve, it's how long does it take for this building to become that 'sweet/last spot' vs the implied appreciation already baked into their asking prices vs how long you plan on owning. judging by the number of closings, that arithmetic doesn't add up & probably won't for a while.

look on the bright side, its even money you can rent there if they don't lower the prices in 12-18 months.

With 18 units out of 116 in contract thats 15 percent, the magic number 1280 has to hit is 25% - about 27 units if my math is correct. Once that thresh hold is met, sales will fly soon after. At 25% financing will be readily available through traditional lenders which will further help sales. Many banks will not lend under 25% of the building sold. Once the museum opens, with all of the associated museum media hype, it will attract droves of new buyers. I beleive buyers will start to realize the value here (yes at these prices)and prices will go up soon after. Who can resist living accross the street from Central Park.Its prime real estate. Not to mention has anyone counted the new developments in the area and the new developments in planning stages at architects offices. Retail, restaraunts, higher area rents are will soon follow. I do agree with your point howver, on the time frame. We'll have to see....I wish I bought in the meat packing district 15 years ago - dont you?

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vdane - buy a unit then, no one is stopping you. your points are all anecdotal. lack of closings, failed combinations, slightly reduced asking prices without an uptick in sales & one fired RE Broker tell the real story, not your 'right around the corner' visions of grandeur. had I bought in meatpacking 15 yrs ago, I probably would have been living somewhere else 7 yrs ago.

Well just have to wait and see.

The truth is that in Manhattan, it really doesn't matter what is a block or more away. We lived at 1212 for decades. We were just one block away from a super-project, a several block long group of apartment buildings between Madison & Park and centered right on 102nd St, where 1212 is. Other than noting the sometimes colorful characters as we walked to the subway on 103rd and Lex, the presence of the projects had absolutely no impact on our home. However, what is directly adjacent to your home does make a difference, and in our case, it was Mount Sinai Hospital. Mount Sinai shows no respect for their area being a residential area, and regularly applies for and receives construction permits to allow them to work well outside usual residential parameters. They have noisy HVAC units, and their garbage/ambulance bay on 101st St will be an annoyance to all who move to 1212 or 1200, as it was for us after Sinai moved the bay from Madison Ave to 101st btwn 5th and Mad. The recent change in direction of 102nd Street also didn't help, since it meant that fire trucks and police cars regularly utilize 102nd where they never did before. And noone listened to our objections from 1212 or 1215.

One of the best views at 1212 was the eastern view of the Triboro Bridge, LaGuardia airport, and northeastern Manhattan. Those views are gone now, thanks to the monstrosity that has risen just behind 1212 and 1200.

So at 1280, what do you get? You get Central Park across the street and you get a nearby bus and subway stop. Who needs grocery stores when most Fifth Ave residents have their groceries delivered or buy groceries whenever they happen to be in NJ with their cars. I didn't know anyone at 1212 who actually walked to a grocery store, but then that was because for almost 20 years, there's been none in the area (prior to that, there was one on 102 & Madison). And as for other stores or restaurants, let's just say you'll get used to taking a bus to wherever you want to go.

It's not 89th and Fifth. It's 110th and Fifth. There's a BIG difference, and there needs to be a price difference to reflect it. 96th has always been the cutoff because that's where the tracks rise above Park Ave. On Fifth, 110th is the cutoff because that's where the Park ends. So 1280 makes it within the cutoff, but only by a hair. The question is whether 1280 residents will notice anything less comfortable than we noticed at 1212. I suspect they won't compared to 1212 today, but they will compared to the relative tranquility that 1212 residents had from the 20s through to the 90s.

I agree that the proximity to the projects is not super-relevant to life at 1280. Still, it is 110th street and the prices need to reflect that location and the lack of local amenities (grocery store to open at 110/Madison but who knows how nice). I am in contract in the building but go back and forth between wanting it to succeed w lots of sales soon and wanting it to fail so I can get my money back and look elsewhere. It IS a really lovely building and the park-facing views ARE stunning. As Twinco notes, 1212 is not really in a better location b/c it is surrounded and shadowed by Mt Sinai, which is a rude behemoth. Today I am hoping that 1280 starts selling. Not sure what the new sales team is doing that is different than the old, other than not sitting around all day in a depressingly unvisted sales office. SELL!!!

I remain amused at the suggestions that 101st street on fifth is as bad a location as 110th on fifth. They may both not be ideal loactions, but 101st is by far the better location, even with the hospital next door. As I suspected buyers are indeed suggesting that the two locations are not the same. If you have still not closed after six months in contract, then looks odd and suggests some issues with building or that condominium is still not effective. In contrast, 1212 which went on market several months after 1280 is effective, and, if reports are to be believed, is almost 50 percent sold.

Did you not have an exit clause to walk away if you did not close in a particular time frame?

matsui, from what I understand 1212 is NOT selling any better than 1280. Few apartments in 1212 have nice views and many have views of the hideous Mt Sinai tower an airshaft away. I think 1280's biggest mistake (other than bad timing) was making the building too large and many of the apartments too small. They cannot change that. But they can and should lower their prices. Or they won't sell more than 20-30 out of more than 100 apts.

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i hear the brokers talk about 1280 and 15 Central Park West becuase of the Robert A.M. Stern connection. the reality is that Stern does not guaranty success. see below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/realestate/01wczo.html

Apartments in 1212 have views to the north, east, and west. The northern views are present only for the two apartments on the north (the old A/B line) and are largely of 1215 across 102nd Street. The views to the west are of a particularly large tree across the street from the building until you get up to about the 12th or 13th floor. There and above, you have beautiful park views, but that's limited to only a few apartments. The eastern views used to be particularly attractive, with the Triboro Bridge centered in the windows. However, these views have all been killed by the monstrosity that has gone up next door. Interestingly, the penthouse at 1212 is a particular questionmark, since there are no views whatsoever from within the apartment. The apartment view is of the limestone terrace surround and water tower. If you go outside, and look over the side, then you have a view.

And yes, it's east harlem. Gang whistles, the sound of the trains on the elevated tracks on Park Avenue, and the noise from Mount Sinai's HVAC systems prevail. But in many ways that was the attraction - we always found downtown residences to be too uptight, too snobby, with their preciously maintained lobbies and piles of AVENUE magazine in the mailrooms. 1200, 1212, and 1215 were very much like living on the wrong side of the tracks with your best friends. There were no neighbor disputes, no ridiculous expenses for gym equipment that noone would use, and so forth. We used the bus, or walked to the subway, while our neighbors to the south seem to have limos or taxis to pick them up. It's a different world, and while the buildings have changed in an effort to match the undesirable (to us) nonsense to the south, the neighborhood is still ghetto. That won't change anytime soon.

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i was in 1280 today. its gorgeous. one of my concerns is that the taxes w/out the 421a are pretty high, and the abatement is only 10 years. as a ten year investment, this will be a winner. ten years ago you couldn't get a yellow taxi up here or on the west side north of columbia, the area has completely changed, and i suspect retal will follow. we are going into spring and summer which will be a nice launching pad once we get past the 25% sold. this will also be attractive to overseas buyers with the central park address. i am putting in an offer tomorrow. as steve jobs said, go to where the market will be, not to where it is.

i agree with huntersburg. there is not a question that harlem and new york have come a long way in terms of quality of life compared to 10 years ago. the thread here is about the disconnect of the pricing at 1280 given harlem pricing and the terrible public schools that are zoned for 1280 and lack of neighborhood amenities besides CP. i am considering apex where units sell for $500 a square foot. http://streeteasy.com/nyc/building/apex-condominiums

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two separate and unrelated thoughts. i would rather have a lomger tax abatement, similar to what you get at park on fifth. i dont view the 421a as a problem because its not as if you are paying a premium for it.
separately, in 10 years this will be a home run. they have a couple loss leaders offered that are very good deals. once they build a little velocity with those, the park will be in all its grandeur in spring and summer, and the location will sell itself.

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of course, that is a given that you work uo a few numbers. then you have to compare it to other similar apts price psf and see if you are actually paying a premium for the abatement.
the reality is, with this building, as with this neighborhood, its on the cusp of becoming gentrified... at least to the north and northwest. the real risk is that europe blows up and there is some crisis a la lehman.... and then its risk off from everything from equities to real estate and that would set back the "cuspier" real estate. dollar would rise, squeeze out all the foreign buyers. i think at this point, especially after a 30% move in stocks in 4 months....macro factors eclipse most other risks with this building. they definitely have some wood to chop in the sales office there.

We looked at a couple apts. in the building this weekend. Loved them. Especially liked the 2 beds facing south, with sideways views of the park from the master bed and LR. 7th floor looked good. 11th floor looked clear over the adjacent building (the Stonehenge, I think?) onto the park and was magnificent. According to the broker, that particular line isn't selling very well and so the price is somewhat negotiable. We're not in the market for anything in $1.3-1.5m range for ourselves right now, but were wondering if we might put a package together to purchase something in that range and rent it out for 3-5 years.

We're New Yorkers who have been out of town for the past few years and are coming back home. I grew in the shadows of Mount Sinai and am familiar with both sides of it--Carnegie Hill and East Harlem. Interested in finding a long term investment and a great place to live and raise a family in the near future.

Interested in all views, but we're really looking for knowledgeable commenters, not spouters or haters.

Why would anyone design and build a nice building with good layouts right in front of Central Park and then have the apartments have terrible views of the park? The entire building seems to be built in the wrong direction. Although the apartments are nice, the focus for any building built on fifth avenue between 59th and 110 street must be the park itself. Who wants to buy a house on the beach that then has sideways and partial views of the water? The building should be taken down and rebuilt with the apartments facing the park directly. It feels almost as if the architect made a mirror image error in transcription of his design and then neglected to correct it when construction started. If that doesn't make sense, go to the front of the building; stand on the west sidewalk and just look at the building and where it opens up to. Sure seems like there was a 'left-right' mistake made.

Just visited the apartment building and I thought it was beautiful. However, negative points to note:

1. The washers/dryers are not vented which seems strange for a luxury building. Perhaps they assume residents will send their laundry out? I don't like to have someone else doing our laundry so this might be a deal-breaker for me.

2. No drawers in the kitchen. There are kitchen cabinets with doors and very few wooden slide out trays but not many drawers. I could only think of one - the utensil drawer.

3. No bathroom cabinets - Usually bathrooms have cabinets behind the mirrors but the mirrors are simply attached to the wall with no storage space. The bathroom storage space is lacking because they didn't build drawers/cabinets around the sink piping. It's not a huge problem but at that price point, it would be nice to have more bathroom storage space.

ichi dude you are missing the elephant in the room. it is in harlem priced as a prime manhattan location. forget about drawers in the kitchen.

The good things are that the rooms are generously proportioned and the west facing apartments have beautiful Park views. The building has some nice amenities.
Unfortunately the kitchens are atrocious as others have noted. Also a 10 year tax abatement is gives you only 5 years of complete abatement. Year 6 taxes are 20% of true assessment, year 7 40% etc. Thats why in harlem you should look for buildings with a 25 yr tax abatement (taxes don't rise until year 21).
So in the end you have high asking prices, high maintenance and, soon, high taxes. Apartments at 111 CPN http://streeteasy.com/nyc/building/111-central-park-north-new_york have superb views and there you get your own deeded parking space.

I just bought an apartment here, I love it. I lived on Riverside Boulevard for 8 years and I got twice the apartment for the same price. Its marginally more isolated than RS blvd, There's an express train one avenue away, an express bus outside the door, a supermarket one block away and a place to get coffee, thats all I need. I'll happily take cabs for the rest, just as I did most of the time from RS blvd where you pay 1400 min psf. Yes its east harlem but my bet is that there will be a migration of development up the east side of the park and eastward from central harlem, just as there has been in west harlem. 10 years ago when I was a grad student at columbia, no one wanted to live east of morningside. now there are tons of restaurants and apts on frederick douglas. And Related is making the same bet because they now have a giant luxury rental building on 103rd, that large glass tower. this is primarily an investment property for me....with US Treasury bonds yielding 2% and stock market up 25% since October, this is an attractive asset. There is only one Central Park.

LOVE the one museum mile concept and the new marketing strategy! Sweet--give this great building the cachet it deserves.

Geeta: news flash: most fifth avenue buildings have a handful of apts facing CP and others w side or no park views. That said, agreee that one museum mile at 1280 fifth has too many apartments period, and too many that do not face park. but it has way more park-facing apts than 1212, and ones that do not face park still have sunny city views. This is a great buikding. i hope they make it work!

Kitchen is actually nice except for wood on cabinets. Not sure what they were thinking there.

THN: I have lived at various locations in Carnegie Hill (92, 93, 96 streets) since 1984, and am in contract for an apt in this building. My advice: go fir it!

The neighborrhood is exanding north and harlem is expanding in a good way too. Lots of new stuff and the building itself is GREAT!!

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I agree it is expanding north but you are paying the prices as if though it already expanded. So if you are right you will break even excluding transaction cost.

lrc666: how come you are still in contract? Eight months ago or so you told us you were in contract and 1280 was only 1 or two sales away from being effective and starting to close. Have they not sold a single apartment in eight months or had you been misinformed as to the progress of the sales?

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i agree with harlembuyer. i can't justify 10 year abatement compared to standard 25 years in Harlem. prices are about 25-30% overvalued.

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there are actually quite a few foreign buyers in harlem as well. And that will escalate as wealthy foreigners want to park their assets in a "safe haven currency.". whats going to happen to the euro if individual countries in the euro zone simply start printing euros to bail out their own debts? the euro will get demolished. and with stocks having given up all their gains for the year today and US Treasury bonds yielding almost nothing (sub 1.50 today), what i like about harlem real estate is that it never bounced back from the lows like the rest of manhattan. so it is cheap relatively speaking.

How much has the area changed over the last few years? I was over at 1212 and 1280 along fifth avenue which is a great area right across from the Central Park.

Any thoughts as to how the public housing projects affect/do not affect condo prices?

Hi John, I happened to look at murder statistics for all of manhattan and then happen to google where housing projects are located and there seems to be a big coorelation. I don't know if that's the reason necessarily but I would google murder statistics in manhattan and I think you will have your answer about the area, etc.

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when was that... 1998?

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Thanks NWT. I am pleasantly surprised by the crime stats in the 19th and 23rd precincts.

area is great during the day, dreadful at night. so as long as you don't have any business being out after dark you are ok.

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Completely agree with you Jason. However sometimes the people who know each other are terrible marksmen and you end up in the crossfire http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20111213/harlem/harlem-teen-arrested-shooting-of-woman-on-116th-street

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"But you never hear people asking "is it SAFE!?!?!??" to live in Gramercy, Murray Hill, WeVil, etc. "

WeVil?

Someone, please, stop the madness.

(I suppose they're calling the East Village "Evil" now...)

"sounds like a great place to raise children' - well maybe it is ok given that kids go to bed early so home before dark

Moral of Jason's posts, don't go out at night, don't take subway, don't go near where people hang out and in no circumstances befriend anyone. follow these steps, you will be as safe as in gramercy. 1500/sq ft - mine.

How would one even get up to 110th Street?

get off on 96th, walk to fifth and walk up to 110th.

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Does anyone know how many units are in contract/sold for 1280?

I think close to 50, half closed, half still in contract.

This building is Rocking now!

I do like the building, and the fact that a museum will be housed in the building plus it is facing central park. The neighborhood though is less desirable for now but I think it will change.

The neighborhood is fifth avenue. Which is wonderful. And the rooftop is bliss.

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John Paulson just announced today a $100mm donation to Central Park, with one of two areas of focus on the North Woods (101st to 110th street). This is huge for 1280 and other buildings north of 101st street.

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Strange that it's called One Museum Mile as it's not on the museum mile....

@ioserin: it has recently been extended to 110th St as the Museum for African Art will be housed in the adjacent building.

@jason10006 yes it is still in East Harlem, so what? It is also right next to the Central Park. If you are thinking about buying and holding this just for a year, forget it you will not see your returns. The NYC population has been growing, and unfortunately gentrification will continue regardless of whether people like it or not. This is the last piece right by central park that is not priced to the skies. Think about it.

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@Jason 10006: whether its called East Harlem or Upper Carnegie Hill - the buildings 1280, 1212 are right next to Central Park. I think investing in anyone of these buildings is a good investment (empirically by tracking how the prices of condos next to Central Park have done over the last 10-15 years).

Personally I like 1280 better as it is will be right next to the Museum for African Art, but 1212 is worth looking at too since it is a pre-war building and there is a strong investor market for that.

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@w67thstreet - we shall see who has the last laugh on this. btw, you are entitled to your opinion and so am I. Name calling does not win an argument.

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