clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

PriceChopper Update: W23rd Street Building 'Not Shady'

More on the strange tale of 101 West 23rd Street, a Chelsea apartment building that doesn't own the land it sits on. Sketchy situation for buyers? Several Curbed tipsters thought so. But today we hear from two Curbed readers who think the arrangement isn't as problematic as it seems. One man's take:

1) There are plenty of Land Lease buildings in NYC. This is not a "shady situation."
2) The Landlord cannot revoke the lease and even if he did and/or sold the land, because of NY laws, the tenants would still have a right to live there, they could not be thrown out. He cannot tear down the building.
3) The land lease is NOT 99 years.
4) The maintenance payments are not "hostage to what the land owner decides to charge in any given period". The terms were agreed upon when the lease was made.
Sensical points. After the jump, CityConnections broker Avi Lasri has his say on the matter.

Broker Avi Lasri emails:

In regards to your recent post from two attendees at my open house, a big thank you for saying that I was refreshingly honest and in continuing to do so I have some points that are totally inaccurate to address.

* To suggest that this transaction is “shady” because of its land lease status is ridiculous. There are many land lease coops/condops in the city that people buy into. It is a rather commonplace occurrence. 4-5% OF THE BUILDINGS IN THE CITY ARE A LAND LEASE. Some of them are brand new like 520 W. 23rd Street.

* I do and did know all the logistics but it came to a point where the “clients" whom in my opinion were just looking for a scoop rather than an apartment were asking questions better answered by a lawyer and I didn't want to be held liable with what I say as real estate brokers and agents are NOT ALLOWED to give legal advice as for what to do and what might happen down the road. An attorney I consulted earlier said that as the time gets closer to the expiration of the lease, coops usually renegotiate the lease and either extend it or renew, buy it or give away the ownership rights for a compensation. In this case the building has another 34 years on the lease and for someone who needs to be there only for a few years as the average time for ownership in the state is about six years and less in New York City there is no resale issue for the next buyer. Neither it is a problem for the bank to finance as they come with most of the money so the bank is the one who takes the biggest risk of everybody (80%) and if the bank sees no potential risk of losing this money why should we?

· Curbed PriceChopper Update: AlL That Glitters... [Curbed]