Hello 2010. We have high hopes for all that you have in store for us in the next 12 months. In a recap of what we would not like to go through a second time around, here are some of the memorable stories that happened in the real estate market in 2009.
In October, median closed sales price in Brooklyn had dropped 19 percent from the previous two years and rental listing prices had dropped 12 percent from the previous year. A tally of the city in September revealed that there were 214 stalled construction projects, translating to 47 percent of all 448 citywide projects.
Michael Shvo took some hits in 2009, getting fired from the Mexican Riviera development project, Nizuc. He was also replaced on the Chelsea condo project at 650 Sixth Ave. and by Halstead Property at Jade. At the start of last year, he lost the Philippe Starck-designed project on 23rd Street, Gramercy. The Real Deal reported that Shvo’s “hard-driving schedule and intense personality made it nearly impossible for him to keep employees long enough to put his ideas into action. A confidential source confided in July, “He has good ideas, but it’s tough for people to work with him. His office is nothing but a revolving door.”
And remember when Fortress Investment Group acquired the controversial Sheffield57 condominium for the low price of $20 million during an August foreclosure auction?
But despite Chicken Little’s cries of the falling skies, the news reports weren’t all doom and gloom in 2009.
George Comfort & Sons, along with RCG Longview bought Midtown’s Worldwide Plaza at 825 8th Ave. from Deutsche Bank for approximately $600 million in one of the most expensive deals of the year. It has also been called one of the smartest deals of the year considering that it was 65 percent less what Harry Macklowe paid in 2007.
Youngwoo & Associates, in collaboration with Kumho Investment Bank acquired the two towers in the Financial District’s Pine Street from disgraced AIG for less than $140 million.
And another great deal that stole the headlines in 2009 was when Ajit Jain beat 45 others to the punch at a bankruptcy auction to buy Marc Dreier’s fully furnished apartment on East 58th Street, better knwoon as One Beacon Court.