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Inside the East River Tower, Headed for Auction This Weekend!

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[Photos by Will Femia.]

Forget yesterday's football game, the real Super Bowl will be played this Sunday at 2pm inside a ballroom at the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown. Competition will be heated, the crowd will cheer, and a group of officials will try to keep everything under control. But it's not the Lombardi Trophy that will be awarded to the winners. Nope, something far more valuable is up for grabs: A tiny slice of New York City real estate. Fans, this Sunday is when auctioneer Sheldon Good & Company will hold an auction double-header, banging the gavel on 26 unsold units at the New Amsterdam in Washington Heights, and up to 25 in the East River Tower, the 19-story oddity near the slightly isolated Long Island City/Astoria waterfront. It was at the latter where we met Sheldon Good CEO John Cuticelli, who sold us on a time in the not-so-distant future when auctions are just as accepted a way of selling NYC real estate as hiring Corcoran. Should we believe him?

We hope the answer is yes, because auctions are a heck of a good time. As the charismatic Cuticelli tells it, the auction method is where supply and demand meet, in a transparent, open and competitive process where the consumer actually has a say in the final price. He knows New Yorkers haven't had great auction experiences in the past. His response: Sheldon Good & Co. doesn't allow anything dicey, including bids from developers or their agents. (They've closed 98% of their auction offerings.) He also knows developers are still hesitant to go the auction route. His response to that: "We create a price floor, not a price ceiling." Want to know the true market value? Want to get that capital out of the building to reinvest elsewhere? Auction time, baby!

And so let's talk about East River Tower, which by all accounts is a building that probably shouldn't exist, yet somehow does. The 74-unit condo creation is wildly upscale for the location, and after failing to find buyers at some fairly steep prices, the project's wealthy developer is ready to breathe some life into the building. Sheldon Good & Co. will auction 25 units, though only 15 are guaranteed to sell on Sunday, once they meet the minimums, of course. Those minimum bids start at $195,000 for some units, which is 67% off the previous asking prices. Cuticelli showed us around the building, including three model apartments. Check 'em out in the gallery above.

To bid, buyers need to pre-register by Tuesday, which is tomorrow. That can be done online on the Sheldon Good website. Buyers also need to purchase the bidder's information package, which includes all the details about the apartments, the purchasing agreement and other educational resources that will make you at least seem informed at the auction event (there's an open house tomorrow where the packets can be picked up). Buyers also need to come to the auction with a certified check in hand for 10% of the minimum bid of the unit they are interested in. And don't forget there's an 8% buyer's premium that gets added on to each winning bid. So, who's ready for the big game?
· East River Tower, Long Island City, New York [SG & Co.]
· The New Amsterdam, Manhattan, New York [SG & Co.]
· Astoria's Tallest Tower Now Astoria's Tallest Condo Auction [Curbed]
· Auction Madness Continues With Washington Heights Condo [Curbed]