During the recession, as financing vanished and condo prices plummeted, the city’s real estate market was flooded with ultra-luxurious rentals. Developers, eager to fill what had been envisioned as condo towers, offered renters top-of-the-line finishes, sprawling floorplans and master-of-the-universe views—perks long denied to those who borrowed rather than bought.
And though such unprecedented luxuries came with unprecedented price tags—a penthouse at New York by Gehry debuted for $60,000 a month—renters materialized all the same. Brokers cooed about this new breed of renter, who preferred a lease to a deed not because of circumstance or financial necessity, but because they craved convenience and flexibility. Not so frequently discussed were the many would-be buyers swelling the ranks of luxury renters who would, presumably, abandon the high-rental market as soon as the housing market rebounded.
For more than a year now, ever since the very first rental units at the monolithic, magnificent Mercedes House came on the market, Two Trees Management has been debating what to do with the rest of its zig-zagging luxury building on the Far West Side of Manhattan. The massive block-long project was a gamble for the Brooklyn firm, about as big and brash and far away from its home turf in Dumbo as one could get (without going to Godforbid, N.J.).
Mercedes House was built in two phases, a swooping base and a connected tower. There would be two sets of rentals, and, the cherry on top, a contingent of condos crowning the 1.3-million-square-foot building, with better finishes and excellent views, on floors 22 through 32. “Everything was high end,” Two Trees managing director Asher Abehsera told The Observer late last week.
He had called in part to set the record straight about the sale of those condos units in a block to Invesco, the Atlanta-based investment management group, that was widely reported last week.
Venture capital firm FirstMark Capital landed in a veritable hornets nest of digital activity after it agreed to a 10-year lease at 100-104 Fifth Avenue, a tech-trendy building that already has Apple and Yelp
as one of its many social media tenants.
They say the high altitude in Denver lowers your appetite; and anyway whatever the altitude doesn’t do, the selection does.
But it’s looking like a long hard slog through this evening at Invesco Field for any journalists who didn’t fill up before coming here: this is a picture of the Press dining area.
David Corn Read More