ly went into contract several years ago.
Eichner, whose Continuum Company is developing the condo tower at 45 East 22nd Street, had a different take on the state of the luxury market than his fellow developers. There is indeed a major supply problem in upper echelons, he said.
“It falls to me to be the guy who says what really is,” he told moderator Amir Korangy, the publisher of The Real Deal. “The reason they write the articles is because of the facts. There are buyers out there but the perception of most buyers is that things are fully priced so they shop all over the place and they take much more time. They actually think they want a discount. Shocking.
“Is the market dead? Of course not. Are we going to be pained? Absolutely,” he said.
Several of the panelists said the $1.3 billion-plus sale of the Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue, which was slated to go condo, was not a sign that there s a turn in the market.
“That building should have never been a residential conversion,” Shvo said. “It doesn’t have a competitive advantage in this market – it’s not on the park, it has a few units with park views. [Joseph] Chetrit made a tremendous amount of money all things considered.”
Macklowe backed him up: “No one said anything about the death of the office market when they said it would be a condo conversion. Why now when the building goes back to office should it be the clarion call to say the residential market is over?”
Most of the panelists agreed that market conditions vary at different price points, noting that the middle of the market is reasonably healthy in comparison with the top end.
“The market has to be bifurcated between luxury product and super luxury product,” Macklowe said. “We should settle into a more normalized $3,000 to $4,000 a foot market.”
The panelists cited the difficulty in securing construction financing for new condos as a sign that the supply glut may be ease up over the next year.
“It’s very difficult to get a construction loan over a $1 billion when the cap on bank loans is $50 million,” Zeckendorf said. “Trying to get 20 [banks] together is almost impossible.”
Eichner, who couldn t secure financing for his luxury rental project at 1800 Park Avenue in Harlem and might be foreclosed on by Durst Organization, said developers may soon turn to Brooklyn, where the market has not seen as much supply.
“There are probably less than 1,000 units for sale in Brooklyn,” he said. “None of those上海贵族宝贝论坛