Luxury Units are Moving Fast at this Red-hot Gray Building on the Upper East Side

New York Daily NewsMarch 07, 2013
19 high-end condos have sold at more than $8 million in two months at 135 E. 79th St. tower.

A rendering of the gray brick facade at 135 E. 79th St., one of the fastest developments in New York history to hit $200 million in sales.

The luxury condo market is so hot on the upper East Side that more than two-thirds of the apartments in one new tower sold out even though the building is far from finished and the sales office is 19 blocks away.

“Several buyers didn’t even to go into the building,” said James Lansill, a senior managing director at Corcoran Sunshine, in charge of selling the units at 135 E. 79th St., which is one of the fastest development in New York history to hit $200 million in sales.

Twenty-three of the 29 condos went to contract in two months selling from an E. 60th St. office. Nineteen homes sold for $8 million plus.

“People are starving for this kind of luxury product,” said Lansill, describing the buyers as upper East Siders in search of a state-of-the-art building and downtown families that want to be closer to their children’s private schools.

An interior garden is one of the many perks at luxury units.

The project, developed by the Brodsky Organization, has a façade made of limestone and gray Flemish brick — and ornamental gates forged by the same company that did the gates at Buckingham Palace.

Inside, elevators open up to private, double-height foyers, which lead to wide hallways and modern interiors.

“We wanted to build something legendary,” said designer William Sofield, who researched iconic buildings up and down Fifth Ave. to perfect this building. “I wanted to make a statement, to design a formidable structure. You look at the façade and you sense strength.”

The building isn’t the only project where buyers are plunking down hard cash from renderings alone.

In Tribeca, at 93 Worth, more than 60 of 92 units are in contract since December. And at 101 W. 87th St. 47 of 62 units went into contract in nine weeks. The building had a 1,000-plus person prospect list — thanks to prices that are half of other comparable luxury buildings nearby.

Rendering of the lobby at 135 E. 79th St. on upper East Side. Nineteen homes have sold for $8 million or more in the past two months.

“I knew if we offered big apartments at a fair price people would come in droves,” said Sonny Bazbaz, who developed the W. 87th St. building. “The city is in again. We have people coming back from the burbs to live here.”

The key to the sales frenzy is low inventory at the luxury end of the market.

“Inventory is at an eight-year low,” said Kelly Kennedy Mack, president of Corcoran Sunshine, a top new development marketing group.“Buyers are responding with bidding wars, fast decision making, and a willingness to purchase from floor plans.”