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Troubled Sutton Place development site sells for $98M

Gamma Real Estate, the project’s original lender, snapped it up

The saga of the development site at 3 Sutton Place has finally been resolved—for now, anyway. The Real Deal reports that Gamma Real Estate, which originally provided a $147 million loan to Bauhouse Group for the property, has snapped it up for an estimated $98 million—of which $86 million was earmarked the site itself, and $12 million for surrounding air rights.

That figure is significantly lower than initial projections for the site, which at one point hovered around $270 million. David Schectman of real-estate financing firm Meridien Capital, which helped finagle the sale, told TRD that “it’s the bellwether for high-end condo developments”—namely, the fact that the market for those is no longer particularly robust. (Trends in luxury condo sales would seem to indicate this as well, but developers apparently just can’t get enough of these pricey buildings.)

Gamma could, in theory, proceed with building the 900-foot tower that was originally proposed for the site, but it probably wouldn’t be easy, considering the continued community opposition to the project. City officials and Sutton Place residents have tried to push through zoning changes that would limit building heights in the area to 260 feet—which is, of course, considerably shorter than the proposed skyscraper.

But Gamma could also turn around and sell the property, which also comes with Foster + Partner’s plans for the skyscraper. So while this chapter in the tower’s story has ended, a new one is likely just beginning.