All eyes may have been on Hudson Yards this past week, but according to Crain’s, the shine appears to have worn off at one of developer Related Companies’ other high-profile projects: the Zaha Hadid-designed condo at 520 West 28th Street, located a few blocks south of the megaproject.
Per Crain’s, fewer than half of the building’s apartments have sold since sales launched in 2015, and its priciest and largest apartments (including a $50 million penthouse) are still seeking buyers. Only two of those apartments sold in 2018. This, Crain’s concludes, makes it “a rare bust” for Related.
So why aren’t buyers flocking to the building? It has plenty of the right elements for a successful condo, including the imprimatur of a starchitect (it was one of the final buildings Hadid designed before her untimely death in 2016) and an enviable location along the High Line.
But the broker selling the condos told Crain’s that actually, West Chelsea only started to become a desirable neighborhood once … Hudson Yards arrived. “It wasn’t as obvious what this neighborhood would become, but with Hudson Yards now open, we think it’s a night and day conversation now,” said Dan Cordeiro, a broker with Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. “This neighborhood has been transformed.” (It’s worth noting that a development boom was already well underway along the High Line before Hudson Yards opened.)
Ultimately, market forces and the tastes of buyers may be to blame. The dip in luxury sales in NYC has been well-documented (despite the occasional $59 million penthouse sale in the neighborhood), and one broker with Douglas Elliman speculated that the apartments themselves don’t quite reflect what buyers want these days—namely, smaller, less expensive apartments.