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25 Million Reasons Why Superior Ink is Doing Just Fine

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Two weeks ago a buyer with a South Carolina home address closed on a 2BR, 2.5BA West 12th Street condo for $4.25 million. This wasn't just any 1,613-square-foot slice of the Far West Village, however. It was #3E at Superior Ink, and the transaction marked the development-stage homestretch of architect Robert A.M. Stern's attempt at exporting his 15 Central Park West success downtown. It worked! Today the Post's Jennifer Gould Keil reports that the owner of the Houston Rockets closed on his $25 million penthouse without a lawsuit or any other increasingly common tactic to back out of a deal agreed to in far sunnier times. It's been a long journey for Superior Ink, and on this momentous occasion we'd like to relive some of our favorite memories.

1) 4/15/05: With word having leaked that the Related Companies planned to tear down the old Superior Ink factory near the West Village waterfront for a Charles Gwathmey-designed condo tower, preservationists rally and Gwathmey totally gets served. Victory!

2) 11/14/06: Er, not quite. After it was controversially left out of the neighborhood's downzoning, the factory gets demo'd to make way for a reduced-in-height development. Ends up being 17 stories.

3) 11/17/06: We first hear Bobby A.M.'s name in connection with the project. Boom-era brokers begin to salivate.

4) 12/27/06: Stern's design is revealed via renderings held up at a CB2 meeting. Bucking recent trends (lookin' at you, Meier), masonry is in and glass is out.

5) 6/22/07: The building (and its spin-off row of new single-family townhouses along Bethune Street) is officially revealed, and in a slap to preservationists that fought like hell to save the factory, the development is dubbed Superior Ink Condominiums & Townhouses. Burn!

6) 11/13/07: First glimpse at interior renderings. Too much Jersey.
7) 1/16/08: Buy our condos, bro! Wall Street roolz.
8) 3/9/08: Realizing that the West Side Highway is a bit déclassé for a neighbor, the rising Superior Ink viciously attacks it.

9) 5/6/08: Shocking some observers, it is revealed that Superior Ink's brickwork is not hand-laid by angels, but rather prefab panels. The horror!

10) 1/26/09: Just in time for the collapse of the luxury Manhattan real estate market, Sternville finally takes shape. Marc Jacobs, joining Hillary Swank, wants in.

11) Today: After a long wait, perhaps long enough to sneak into the rumored rebound of the luxury market, it's showtime. Superior Ink's new entrance awaits arriving Far West Village conquistadors, while we wonder if these symbols of boom-time excess will close smoothly. That chapter has yet to be written.
· Rocket pad [NYP]
· Superior Ink [somethingsuperior.com]

UPDATE: 12) The penthouse is already back on the market with a slight price increase. Yowza.