In a much-needed flash of downtown residential energy, Lightstone Group’s 242 luxury condo apartments at 130 William St. have nearly sold, according to an analysis of public records posted on the city’s Finance Department ACRIS database.
The flood of expensive purchases since marketing began in 2018 sparks resurgent hopes for the entire sector, which may be in need of all the revival.
The sale of apartments is the story of the real 130 William, but has been largely eclipsed by puffy, design-focused stories about apartment sales. 66-story tower boasting views, state-of-the-art amenities and the vision of architect David Adjaye — that’s like nothing else on the Lower Manhattan skyline.
The public face of the building is hard for anyone to miss. Huge, arched windows are set in a hand-poured concrete façade that reads as black from a distance, but softens to a silvery-grey at close range. The structure’s monolithic, Moorish-reminiscent profile stands out from the downtown skyline as much as Rafael Viñoly’s all-white, square-windowed 432 Park Avenue does from Midtown.
“130 William Street is over 90% sold and has been recognized as the best selling condo tower in the city for the past few years,” said Scott Avram, Senior Vice President of Development for Lightstone.
The impressive record was achieved during a five-year sales effort that included nearly three years of the pandemic, when much of Lower Manhattan was desolate. Sensitive pricing contributed to the popularity of the project. (Despite some $10 million deals for penthouses, most units have sold in the $2 million-$3 million range, according to Treasury figures).
One analyst said, “Lightstone was smart in pricing their product reasonably early on, so they didn’t get the negative publicity of the price-cutting, as some Uptown locations did.”
In fact, most of the 130 William units sold at or very close to the original “asks”. Average prices were around $3,000 per square foot or less, compared to upwards of $5,000 at 432 Park Avenue. Excel’s Central Park Tower,
Several other savory developments have been observed in the surrounding area. The owners of the long-delayed condo tower 125 Greenwich St. just took out a $313 million loan to finish the job. Whole Foods opened a giant store in Harry McIlroy’s One Wall Street, French department store Printemps is coming to the site in 2024.
Century 21 discount fashion store, which appeared to be dead after closing during the pandemic and expected to return in a shrunk form later, is reopen this spring Almost in original size.
Casa Cipriani atop the Battery Maritime building attracts trendy uptowners to Manhattan’s East River foot. The long-delayed Ronald O. The Perelman Performing Arts Center is finally on track to open later this year.
However, the positive developments, welcome as they are, hardly negate the challenges downtown faces as it struggles to recover from the pandemic.
Its nearly 90 million square feet of offices have a 21% vacancy rate at the end of 2022, according to the Downtown Alliance. Only a few major renovations saved the area from worse numbers. Brokers told Realty Check that vacancies in older and older buildings in the heart of the district are up to 35%.
But the data also includes three modern buildings that are completely vacant, notably 60 Wall St., the former Deutsche Bank tower with 1.6 million square feet.
Office rental demand continues to decline. Two World Trade Center doesn’t seem any closer to rising than it did 10 years ago Larry Silverstein prays for a tenant, A flashy beer garden and art installation can’t hide the gloom of a World Trade Center that has one tower shorter than a full quartet.
The WTC complex still doesn’t have a single full-service restaurant outside of Eataly. Westfield Mall and Oculus remain a food wasteland, despite having a few fast-casual spots.
The residential picture, though healthy, is overshadowed by site-specific problems. developer Harry McIlroy faces The Real Deal Called “Reckoning” Over $750 million in debt at One Wall Street.
The retail picture is mostly bleak. Between affluent Brookfield Place on the west end and the tin building food mecca and rejuvenated seaport on the east end, Fulton Street and John Street present a sea of empty storefronts.
The amount of blind space is hard to fathom given the huge increase in pedestrian traffic. Especially on Fulton Street, the die-hards boast a dozen fast-food and fast-casual spots that must be thriving.
Perhaps the retailers and landlords at 130 William St. will ease into all the prosperous arrivals and start making deals.