A Park Avenue co-op may be the ultimate in old New York style, but what happens if you don’t want to (or can’t) put up with the hassles of proving yourself to a co-op board? For the paparazzi-tailed celebrities, Slavic-accented oligarchs and Gulf emirs among us, there’s always 737 Park Avenue.
And by the looks of the recent price increases at the stately 1940 apartment house at Park Avenue and East 71st Street, the celebs, oligarchs and emirs are desperately in need of accommodations. Developer Macklowe Properties just put the sponsor units on the market on January 11, but those prices didn’t even last three weeks before they were raised, according to StreetEasy. And it isn’t the first time that the developer has demanded more—Bloomberg News reported that Macklowe jacked up prices in the building twice last November. Then again, the price hikes could be a publicity ploy—in which case, it’s working! (As far as we can tell, nobody managed to scoop up an apartment before any of the recent price hikes.)
Some of the smaller apartments only saw a small bump in price—a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit on the fourth floor was raised from $4.45 million to $4.475 million—but asking prices on the larger units rose 10 percent or more. Unit 16C entered the market at $11 million in January, but the asking price jumped to $12,675,000, more than 15 percent, before finally going into contract on February 12 (The Observer was unable to determine who the buyer is, or what price they agreed to pay).
When it went into contract the unit was asking $675,000 more than the week’s second-place finisher, according to Olshan Realty’s weekly sales report. That honor goes to a co-op duplex on the 10th and 11th floors at 125 East 72nd Street, just a block away, which was listing for an even $12 million when it went into contract. Despite the lower price, this unit features a full fourteen separate rooms, five of which are bedrooms, appearing to yield significantly more space overall. The lower price compared to 737 Park, which only has three bedrooms, may reflect the value that buyers place on new condo units, as well as the price premium that a Park Avenue address—especially one directly across the street from the famed 740 Park—bestows on a unit in comparison to less sublime Lexington Avenue.
While it is fairly common for developers to change prices after a few months of sales feedback, the frequency of increases suggest either a very strong luxury market, or that developers are banking on one. Indeed, 737 Park would not be the first condo conversion to get greedy during the early days. After a spectacular start to sales this fall, the Zeckendorfs hoisted up asks at 18 Gramercy. Meanwhile, sales at 432 Park Avenue—Harry Macklowe’s collaboration with CIM—may still be a long way off, but that hasn’t stopped the developer from upping the skinny tower’s projected asking prices from approximately $4,500 a square foot to $5,800.