We're learning more about the crazy situation at Battery Park City's Rector Square, and the building makes the Apthorp mess look like a Brady Bunch sing-a-long. Rector Square is the condo conversion of 225 Rector Place, a large rental building put up by the Related Companies in 1985 at South End Avenue. It was bought by developer Yair Levy (yes, of bucket fame) in 2005, who launched the renovation/conversion and hired SHVO to market the property. Last week, The Real Deal reported that the building was in complete disarray: shuttered sales office, halted construction, units going rental, rumors of financing difficulties, etc. Now, a tipster forwards a couple of items from the Battery Park City Broadsheet that gets into the nitty-gritty of just how bad life is inside Rector Square.
From an item headlined "Work stops at Rector Place condo conversion:"
"The gym is open, but it's the only part of the project that's nearly done," one source said, "and even that isn't finished." He then enumerated a series of internal projects that have ground to a halt at 225 Rector: hallways, the rooftop deck, the pool and the lobby. (The building's main entrance is covered with plywood, and residents have been using a temporary side door for more than a month.) While several dozen apartments in the building have been entirely remodeled (and a number of these sold to condo buyers), many more remain half-completed or not yet started and empty. "The upper floors aren't even close to being finished," one insider said.Levy told The Real Deal that construction would pick back up and be finished in three to four months, but according to the Broadsheet, funding is/was coming from the bankrupt Lehman Brothers and the teetering Ango-Irish Bank, recently seized by regulators. Meanwhile, a Rector Square resident wrote a lengthy letter to the Broadsheet to follow up on that previous story. A taste:My unit is finished and so are some others but my floor still looks like a construction site. The floor and walls are unfinished with exposed concrete, broken sheetrock (from the old building), exposed electric wires, broken pipes, litter on the floor, the smell of urine (I think it was the construction workers), cigarette butts and broken beer bottles. The building's security is poor since they do not guard the back door. Any bum could walk in. I complained about this and they said they'd lock the rear doors but have not done so. The gym is NOT finished and doesn't look anything like the pictures on their Web site. The pool, showers, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room are partially constructed. I haven't been on every floor but I'd estimate that only 10 percent or less is finished. I dare not go into all the floors to check because some of them look like a scene out of a horror movie (or the end scene in the construction site building in "The Dark Knight" movie where Batman catches the Joker.)
The scamster management company is forcing me to pay maintenance for unfinished amenities. The lounge is non-existent, there are missing walls, torn-up flooring and other construction junk. There are no limestone floors and oak walls as promised in the lobby. It's still unfinished. The roof deck is not finished.
There are still active listings for the building on StreetEasy, and according to Rector Square's website, SHVO is still the brokerage in charge. So, uh, who's interested?
· Shvo, no, where did Rector Square go? [Real Deal]
· Adventures in Real Estate Marketing: Shvo Wants Your View [Curbed]