The 23-unit Kushner Studios development at 123 Baxter Street has been through a lot around these parts. Dubbed Jetsonville by Elliman broker Lisa Maysonet because of its Internet fridges and automated parking garage, and hated on by Curbed readers from the very beginning, 123 Baxter never seemed to hit the ground running. There were snickers over the initial "Soho south" labeling of the location, as well as Maysonet's legendary quote about the buyers she was courting: "I think trust-fund babies with ripped jeans is the profile we’re looking at." The first indication of trouble was the awarding of a free BMW to whomever could sell a condo in the thing, and soon after came a big PriceChop. Then there was the weird web site dispute, concerns over the robogarage, and finally, a swap of brokers amidst rumors that not one unit had gone to contract, and that the $550/month parking fee had been waved. Phew!
All that drama, and we had never swung by to check out 123 Baxter for ourselves. That changed this weekend. Now, there have always been two major knocks on the building: (1) It's ugly, and (2) It's in no-man's-land. Honestly, we can't really dispute either claim. But we will say this: On the former, 123 Baxter has become so weird looking?so absolutely bizarre within the context of the Chinatown tenements that surround it (the scrubbed, immaculate sidewalk out front says it all)?that it's actually turned into something kind of awesome. And while it is in a Little Chitaly wasteland, especially among people who are looking to spend $2 million on an apartment, it's going to be one wealthy damn wasteland. Sitting catty-corner is the Grand Machinery Exchange, 14 converted lofts that are about to go on sale at prices starting at $1.6 million. Improbably, we're looking at a suddenly hot corner. But will that heat translate to buyers at 123 Baxter, or are Jetsonville's active listings headed to the chopper once again?
· 123 Baxter [Official Site]