Printed from at 01:08 PM, Jan 18 2017
Talk » Sales » Discussing 'Liberty Tower - 55 Liberty'

Liberty Tower - 55 Liberty


Anybody have any thoughts on this building? Apartments seem nice; maintenance seems a little high. Other than that, seems like a nice building.

It's much nicer than any of the other co-op options in the Financial District. Maintenance does seem high given the relative lack of amenities (especially compared to all of the fancy condos in the neighborhood), but prices are pretty reasonable and seem to take this into account.

There's a huge variation in the quality of the units, so it can be hard to work out reasonable comps.

Location is pretty good within the Financial District--convenient to most subway lines as well as the cluster of grocery stores on John and Maiden Lane. In my opinion, also one of the more interesting conversions in that a fair amount of the building's original character was retained in the public spaces.

Who remembers the 'batcave' on the top of this building?

Thanks jordyn and NWT

anyone know the status of 15B? price seems very cheap

I noticed the listing as well, Mowitz. Do any Fidi experts have color on that one?

$ pst seems cheap but maint is very high for the price range. seems like it should be a $4MM apt, no?

I saw this unit a few years ago and now it looks more priced to sell. However, the maintenance isn't $6k, it's $8k/month, there's a note about how the seller is rebating $2k/month for 5 years ($120k) at closing. The layout isn't great for a family, but the huge space makes up for alot of shortcomings. There is great light to the south facing side. North and South views had a bit of a canyon feel. Renovation-wise, it needed some updating, particularly bathrooms (for my taste), but was entirely livable.

I was comparing to 27BC, which in hindsight was a steal due to combination of price and much better North and South views. But it needed alot more renovation, in my view.

One of the other negatives for the building was the entrance, which has alot of steps. At the time, with young kids and strollers, not great for us. There was a side entrance at street level, but it smelled awful, I think there was the garbage area there.

I love the building and the neighborhood and if you can swing the $100k/year in maintenance, I think you get alot for your money. Just remember the backflips you're going to have to do when you try and sell a place with that kind of maintenance and a 3% flip tax.

The maint is only $1.75 psf...seems in-line with most properties in the city if you include real estate taxes. The apartment is dated, but it seems like the renovation was top of the line when it was done about 15 years ago

Compared to 27BC, 15B is around double the space. The 2008 listing had maintenance at $6K, double the maintenance listing for 27BC in 2009. I would imagine the story on maintenance is similar for 27BC -- $3K to $4K -- but I don't know.

Incorporating the $120K gimmick, this is now asking $3M. Double where 27BC went for double the space. Nicer condition, lesser views. Assuming maintenance is on par on a ppsf basis, 15B is arguably just as much of a steal as 27BC. If you can pick 15B up for $500K below current ask (which is not out of the question on this one, IMO), then 15B starts arguably looking better.

The problem with these apts, and I think with 15B particularly more so, is the target audience. With an ability to flush $100K a year down the toilet (which is a fair maintenance for 4500 sq ft by Manhattan standards) and $3M cash/borrowing ability, do I want to live in a non-prime apt in a non-prime neighborhood with non-prime light/views, etc.? Or would I rather live elsewhere ---after all, what am I going to do with 4500 sq ft?

Goldie, I'm also surprised you think $8K a month for maintenance is high given 4500 sq ft. It seems like $8K maintenance is high given a $3M shopper, but what exactly are you expecting for 4500 sq ft.

Funny, if this were a $5-6M apt with no changes outside of asking price, I'm guessing a $8K maintenance would seem perfectly reasonable. It seems to have entered the price/maintenance death spiral. The price was too high for the space at $5M, but as they cut it to $3M to compensate, the maintenance "became" too high for the sale price.

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totally agree Inonada. in a few years when prices in this part of the city reach the $1200 psf level, $8-10k per month in maint will not seem extraordinary for a 4500 sf space. I would think the bigger issue with this unit is that the FIDI has yet to become a "family neighborhood" and has traditionally catered to wall street bachelors looking for a 1-2 bedroom. I think once Freedom Tower is complete and Conde Nast moves into the area, this unit will seem like a steal at $3MM

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Mowitz, I wouldn't call that a steal. The real steals are for rent. For example, I'd much rather take this at $14K a month:

This 15B apt costs you $8K a month, plus $3K a month to amortize transaction costs over 10 years. So $11K a month. Just there alone, I'd rather take the Beekman Place rental for an incremental $3K. Better location, great light, great views, infinitely more interesting space (MoMA vs. McMansion, no offense), 6 outdoor spaces, something quite special. A little smaller (15% accounting for outdoor space at 50%), but so what? Much superior space.

But guess what, that incremental $3K gets eaten up at 15B by insurance & upkeep & whatnot. So the monthlies for the two start hitting parity, but I strongly prefer the Beekman Place apt. And then comes the real kicker: you also need to pony up (or borrow) $3M for 15B. Even at a meager 4% cost of capital, that's $10K a month more.

So $24K a month for a slightly larger but otherwise inferior-in-every-way 15B vs. $14K for Beekman Place? Even if you think all will be great and appreciation will add 2% a year to 15B, you're still looking at $19K for the lesser apt vs $14K for the superior apt.

To me, the "steal" is the latter by far, somewhere approaching a factor of 2.

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55 Liberty went into foreclosure in the early 1990's. If memory serves me
correctly, it had a tremendous amount of debt, which might explain the high

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where did you see that it went into foreclosure?

15B is in contract? anyone know anything about this?

A court case from 1993 mentions that it was "in foreclosure", but the co-op never lost title to the building. The then-lender, Guardian Life, may have lost money, but I can't tell.

The court case was interesting. In 1989 one Ittleson bought shares for an apartment from the architect/sponsor, Joseph Pell Lombardi, but then sued for fraud, whining that nobody told him a huge assessment for facade and roof repair was imminent.

Lombardi won. The court told Ittleson FU, that any reasonably intelligent person represented by counsel would've read the disclosures and engineer's report and known what he was getting into.

Anyone know anything about the 4,500 sf unit in contract? Where will it close?

$579 PSF....must be a record for Fidi

Thanks for circling back on this, Mowitz.

Does anyone know what's the story with 10C? Where will it close? Seems overpriced for the condition it's in. Looks like it hasn't been updated since the 80s.

this building is going to be $1,000 psf in 3 yrs

any thoughts/info on 10C?

Did this building suffer any flooding or other damage from Hurricane Sandy?

Okay, happy to answer my own question. According to this listing, that answer is no: " This building was completely undamaged from recent storm."

No damage during Sandy. Best co-op downtown. Its the last "under-the-radar" building where one can find a reasonably priced apartment in the area.

Moritz, I've been watching this building for a while and it looks like your prediction three years ago was spot on. Units in this building recently seem to be moving fast and trading above 1,000 sf (and often above ask). The market finally woke up to this fido secret. With all the development around this building and so many more people moving downtown, it could be going to $1,300/sf over the next couple years.

who knew that this building was such a dog.


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