3 months in, 1212 Fifth already half sold

Crain's New York


Amanda Fung

Almost half of 1212 Fifth Ave. has been sold, just three months after it was put on the market.

Just three months after officially launching sales, nearly half the units at the condo conversion of a classic pre-war building at 1212 Fifth Ave. have been spoken for, and the developer has upped asking prices roughly 5%.
The 55-unit conversion’s offering plan was declared effective just a few weeks ago, clearing the way for the first apartment sale to close on Thursday, according to Damon Pazzaglini, chief operating office at Durst Fetner Residential, 1212 Fifth Ave.‘s developer. That 3,600-square-foot, five-bedroom unit fetched just south of $5 million. The new owner plans to move into the 15-story, brown-brick and white-limestone building, on East 102nd St., next week.
Mr. Pazzaglini described buyers in the building as “a nice cross section of New York City—some looking to upsize and downsize, some from Park Ave., some downtown looking to move uptown, and a few internationals.”
Currently, 45% of the units in the property overlooking Central Park are under contract or have an accepted offer. The asking price on the apartments—which range from an 809-square-foot one-bedroom to a 3,600-square-foot five-bedroom—are around $1,400 a square foot for the units overlooking the park, and about $1,100 a square foot for all the other units. Ninety percent of the conversion is complete and Mr. Pazzaglini expects to sell out by June.
“They are doing well versus the marketplace,” said Stephen Kliegerman, president of Terra Development Marketing. “They have a first-class product and have done a nice job renovating it.”
In its previous life, 1212 Fifth Ave. housed Mount Sinai Medical Center staffers. Sales got a lift from the lack of new condo inventory, especially of the classic prewar variety, in the city. Having the building preapproved for loans from four different lenders—M&T Bank, Capital One Financial Corp., Gibraltar Bank and Wells Fargo & Co.—in a tough lending environment is also helping, according to Mr. Pazzaglini. The preapprovals assure buyers they will be able to get financing, even if the building does not meet certain sale threshold requirements by Fannie Mae.
“This puts a stamp of approval on the project,” said Mr. Pazzaglini. “In this environment, many deals fall through the cracks because of financing.”
Durst Fetner Residential bought 1212 Fifth Ave. from Mount Sinai Medical Center for $42 million in 2009, and is spending roughly $100 million to convert it. Last year, the developer closed on a $55 million construction loan from M&T Bank and Capital One.