Other firms, like Corcoran and Prudential Douglas Elliman, are also riding the wave of New York City's record luxury condo prices.
Attributed partially to the weakening dollar and the strengthening euro, pound and peso, sales are further bolstered by the multiplicity of property choices New York City has to offer foreigners. "Anything you want is being built, and much of what will be sold over the next few months doesn't even exist yet," Sloane adds. And one of the most sought-after real estate options, historically renovated condos, have carved out a comfy niche in the city's foreign-buyer market. Americans are not as secure in their jobs, and company bonuses, which drive the real estate market from Dec. 1 to March 15, are declining, says Sloane. "People in general are reticent about over investing in anything." Yet Sloane's phones have been ringing loudly and frequently with prospective buyers from India, Ireland, Latin America and increasingly Canada, looking for historic condos. So why are foreigners so interested in getting a piece of U.S. history? Most buyers seek out the grand high ceilings, breezy spaces and cozy fireplaces they can't find in modern condo developments. Co-ops typically offer these features, but many foreigners and a newer, increasingly international Wall St. generation want timeless charm combined with a quick exit strategy and no housing board to deal with. "For many foreigners, their only assets
140 Franklin and the Ice House at 27 North Moore: Formerly Commercial140 Franklin, a Romanesque revival building, was converted in 2000 from a commercial unit to 14 loft condominiums, each valued around $15 million. Similarly, the Ice House at 27 North Moore was converted from a warehouse to condos about 10 years ago.
502 Park Avenue, Trump Park Avenue: Former HotelOriginally erected in 1929, this legendary location at the top of Park Avenue's commercial district was home to the Viceroy Hotel and the fabled Delmonico Hotel until 2003, when Trump gave it an $80 million renovation and converted the property into luxury condominiums, rechristened
823 Park Avenue: Formerly ResidentialOriginally designed by townhouse architects Pickering & Walker in 1912, the 38 apartments of this fully restored Greek Revival building are being converted to the original 12-unit model and a custom-built triplex penthouse selling for $30 million, the highest priced penthouse on Park Avenue. The formerly residential property has the layout of classic family apartments with living space and light exposure unheard of in today's comparatively cramped luxury condos. Each unit was constructed originally as a classic Park Avenue family apartment, with four bedrooms and a large kitchen. "It's a dream floor plan," says Sloane. Contrary to the international buyer trend, the future residents of this property are mostly local couples in their 30's and 40's with children or teens. "The space is a perfect match for them," says Meir. Three floor units, selling for an average of $12 million, remain. The renovation will be completed in the first quarter of next year, says Meir.
Historical DrawNew York City has been in the forefront of historic preservation, which is a critical part of the city's economy, says Michael Slattery, senior vice president of the
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