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New Looks at Ben Shaoul's 'Affordable Luxury' Condo

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Is $1 million the new price for affordable living in the city? That's what developer Ben Shaoul of Magnum Real Estate Group would have you believe with his latest project: a condo conversion of a Gramercy building where one-bedrooms start at $987,000, according to NY YIMBY.

This type of development is known as "accessible luxury" or "mid-market luxury," according to the New York Post, which recently featured a story on the Magnum project in Gramercy.

Newly-built apartments in luxury buildings such as this one form the lowest tier of luxury development, where prices per square foot range from low- to mid-$2,000, whereas the average luxury development square footage price is in the upper $2,000 range, according to research conducted by the Post.

At the Gramercy Park building, Magnum is converting an existing luxury rental, the 21-story, 138-unit Post Luminaria located at 385 First Avenue into a condo building called, perhaps a bit unimaginatively, Luminaire.

The new building will feature 103 condos. Sizes for the apartments range from 653 square feet for a one bedroom to 1,891 square feet for a three bedroom, according to NY YIMBY. Some of the amenities in the new building include a lounge with a terrace, a 24-hour attended lobby, and a gym.

The facade of the building will remain the same as will the 7,100 square feet of retail on the ground floor, though it's unclear if the current tenants there will remain.

Shaoul purchased the building along with the 199-unit Post Toscana on the Upper East Side in 2014 for $270 million. GKV Architects, who designed the original Gramercy building for the Clarett Group, is returning for the conversion, while Francis D'Heane of D'Apostrophe Design will oversee the interiors. Work began on the building in April this year, and it will be ready for occupancy sometime in the middle of next year.

Shaoul's most recent high-profile project was the conversion of the Ralph Walker designed Art Deco building in Tribeca.
· Rental To Condo Conversion Underway At 385 First Avenue, Luminaire [NY Yimby]
· Gramercy is about to get some affordable-ish new housing [NY Post]
· Condo developer Ben Shaoul snaps up 2 rental towers [NY Post]
· 385 First Avenue Archives [Curbed]