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Five Worrying Things About Crazy New Condos on Madison

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We had no idea there were plans for a condo conversion at 371 Madison Street, the former P.S. 12 building sold to developer Thomas Sung. Sung purchased the building for $535,000 in 1983?and it's taken until now to bring the property to market. We don't see any listings yet?there's a teaser website that just went live?but thankfully the Journal's story on the building provides some of the key information. Prices for the 110 apartments, for example, start at $542,000. Some of the other details in the Journal piece, though, require a little more translation. Here now, our analysis of five factoids about 371 Madison, supplemented with intel from a building press release:

1) Fact: "Eventually Mr. Bolla hopes to turn some small rooftop penthouses, where the school's basketball courts were, into a single, 7,000-square-foot penthouse with a 12,000-square-foot yard."
Translation: However many units are atop the building now, they're even smaller than the brokerbabble definition of "small." (Also worthy of note: the building's broker is the one and only Michael Bolla.)

2) Fact: "Sleeping lofts created along inside walls in some cases have limited ceiling heights, making them not suitable for basketball players."
Translation: "Not suitable for basketball players" may be our new favorite euphemism for coffin-like. According to the press release, the apartments are "primarily open duplex lofts ranging from 700 to 1,500 square feet."

3) Fact: "The finishes on kitchens tucked under the lofts were kept modest to keep costs low, though Mr. Bolla is designing a package of upgraded wide-plank oak floors and fancier kitchens that will be offered to buyers."
Translation: Expenses were spared on some of the interior details.

4) Fact:The developer "was a founder of Abacus Federal Savings Bank in Chinatown in 1984, at a time when the immigrant Chinese community was underserved by banks, he said. When the new bank started losing money, he stepped in to run it, gradually giving up his law practice to devote all his time to the bank. The bank narrowly survived a run by depositors in 2003 after an employee was accused of embezzlement, and now has six branches from Canal Street to Philadelphia."
Translation: There's probably no translation necessary for this one.

5) Fact: "By 2003, Mr. Sung obtained a certificate of occupancy, but then decided to build a large pool on the advice of a daughter, Vera, an avid swimmer. That resulted in another unexpectedly long delay."
Translation: According to the press release, the pool in question is "an Olympic-sized, heated swimming pool that took a feat of innovative mechanical engineering and more than five years to complete."

Turns out whatever expenses were spared in the unit finishes might have been funneled into the building's amenities. According to the Journal and the teaser website, those amenities include a juice bar with room service, a spa, 24-hour vegetarian organic room service, organic laundry, a spinning room, yoga, cranial sacral therapy, and nutritional counseling. At least the cranial sacral therapy should help with those low ceilings.
· 30-Year Trip From School to Condos [WSJ]
· Conversions coverage [Curbed]

371 Madison Street

371 Madison Street, New York, NY