As Goes Manhattan, So Goes Manhattan House

Manhattan House, with its Bauhaus-style balconies protruding over East 66th Street, has just sold for $625 million, according to today’s New York Post. Also, a new record was set with each apartment costing over $1.072 million; there are 583 apartments total.

New York Life Insurance developed the “white-brick” building and owned it for more than 50 years. Since 1960, the insurance giant has been selling off several nearby properties, including the Beekman Theater, which closed in June. Manhattan House had been the final holdout.

Now, those unfortunately residents without rent-stabilized apartments may see a sharp increase.

“Sources said just fewer than half the units are rent-stabilized, with an average rent of about $1,800,” according to The Post. “The rest are at market rents that zoom all the way to a penthouse pad for $20,000 a month.”

Also, there are rumors of condo conversion, following in a tradition of recent sales of rental buildings. As The Observer reported in June, when Manhattan House first went on the market, the conversion proposal will need 15 percent support from tenants.

If a condo conversion plan is hatched, the dance between the sponsor and tenants will begin. We’ll be watching to see if the tenant association steps up to get those much-desired “insider” rates.
—Michael Calderone