It appears that One Madison Park, the 60-story sensation of 23rd Street, has lost its sizzle. Now, no one said closing 70 uber-expensive luxury condos in this market was going to be easy, but given the hype during the building's construction?the quick sales, the celebs, the proximity to semi-clothed hotties?one would think the sailing would be a bit smoother. But in the three months since closings began, only seven units have sold. And according to StreetEasy, the final prices on the six to reach public record so far have been anywhere from 20% to 38% off the asking prices. And not to kick a guy when he's down, but we'd be remiss in not dedicating some space to the nasty bit of business printed in the New York Times yesterday.
We've already touched on the confusion regarding the building, but now Josh Barbanel?who will end up writing an Andrew Ross Sorkin-style tell-all about OneMadPark when all is said and done?notes many troubling things about the city's biggest south-of-59th symbol of boom-time real estate excess:
1) British interior designer Paul Davies, he of the $31 million triplex purchase, has backed out and "was given at least some of his deposit back." A building rep claims two or those floors are now in contract to another buyer.
2) Other buyers are walking away, including two Wall Streets execs who had signed deals to retrieve large chunks of their deposits before the sponsor backed out of the agreements. According to their lawyer, the sponsor's "mortgage holders had refused to go along, perhaps raising a question about the project's financing." The lender swears everything is kosher.
3) The first closing back in August reportedly just beat the buzzer on the building's delivery deadline, but the lawyer representing the Wall Street guys says a discrepancy in the offering plan seems to set the outside date at August 1, meaning buyers could be offered refunds on their deposits if the allegation is accurate.
4) Though repped by Brown Harris Stevens superteam Wendy Maitland and Wilbur Gonzales, OneMadPark has been "reaching out in recent days to brokers at other firms for their views on marketing the property."
And, 5), which finally puts one of the most popular cocktail party rumors about One Madison Park in print: That the sales were inflated by the brokers themselves, who put down deposits on several units and planned on flipping the contracts in the hot-hot-HOT real estate market. Now that's some real down-n-dirty stuff. Maitland and Gonzalez deny such shenanigans.