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Upper West Side Rental Plans Low Key Condo Conversion

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Condo conversions of rental buildings usually come with a big sale, splashy marketing, and armies of architects tasked with rebirthing the building, but the Orleans at 100 West 80th Street is not the usual rental building. It's owned by David Sterling and Nora Lavori, a long-divorced couple who bought the building in the early 1980s when it was part hotel, part rental apartments. They now live in separate penthouse units and plan to put the building's 25 spacious apartments on the market as condos, pretty much as they are. According to the Journal, prices will range from $2,100 to $2,400 per square foot. A seventh-floor, five-bedrooms with views of the American Museum of Natural History is asking $6 million.

Sterling and Lavori have renovated the apartments and building several times over the last few decades. The brick, stone, and limestone Beaux-Arts building opened in 1898 as an hotel, and by the 1950s, it was split between 77 apartments and 43 hotel rooms. After the couple bought it, they signed a lease with Columbia for it to be used as a university residence. When the lease was up in the 1990s, the owners embarked on a major overhaul that combine the 120 units into 48 one- and two-bedrooms. In recent years, they renovated again, combining apartments again, to create 25 larger homes with new kitchens.

No listings are officially live yet, as the 20 homes that will be for sale—Sterling and Lavori will keep five apartments for themselves—must first be offered to current tenants for 90 days. The images below are from a listing for a five-bedroom apartment that rented for $23,750/month last year.

· The DIY Condo Conversion [WSJ]
· The Orleans [StreetEasy]