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Park Avenue Church Site Turned Condo

An Upper East Side condominium that displaced a preferred Park Avenue preschool in 2013 and needed to be scaled down to fulfill historic district necessities will lastly begin gross sales this month.

The condominium, 1010 Park Avenue, is an 11-unit providing from the Extell Development Company at East 85th Street, on the location of an annex to the Park Avenue Christian Church, whose small congregation reaped $25 million from the sale, plus two basement ranges of recent assembly and occasion house within the new constructing.

But the deal uprooted a longtime annex tenant, the Park Avenue Christian Church Day School, an upper-crust preschool that needed to abruptly relocate to the Upper West Side simply because the 2013 faculty 12 months was to start out. At the time, indignant dad and mom known as Extell to complain, the corporate’s executives stated.

But if disgruntled households are now not as a lot of a priority, the condominium might face different headwinds.

Although costs had been decreased earlier this 12 months, items within the new constructing are comparatively expensive, a median of about $four,000 a sq. foot, in line with Extell, or greater than 40 p.c greater than the value comparable initiatives close by fetch, primarily based on market information.

“Prices don’t seem realistic,” stated Donna Olshan, the president of Olshan Realty, a boutique Upper East Side brokerage, who has toured the constructing. “Developers can try to market and throw parties and all kinds of things, but in the market right now, there’s only one tool in the toolbox — only one — and it’s called ‘price.’”

Yet Extell’s aggressive strategy is maybe comprehensible, given its unique plans for the location.

The firm, recognized for large-scale initiatives like One57, the 94-unit, 90-story Midtown condominium, had deliberate a a lot bigger challenge. The unique model had 20 tales, in line with Extell; the present constructing has 16. And the earlier model had six extra flats, for a complete of 17.

More important, the unique plans known as for a cantilever, with a glassy hulk that jutted over the roof of the adjoining 1911 Gothic Revival church. Facing group opposition, Extell withdrew the cantilever plan in 2013.

But even a scaled-down and extra traditional-looking tower struggled to cross muster with the town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, which didn’t give its closing approval till 2015. The web site is within the Park Avenue Historic District, which was created within the spring of 2014 as neighbors protested this challenge.

Less detrimental to income than the downsizing of the challenge, however nonetheless burdensome, was the Commission’s request that fieldstones from the annex be reused on a portion of the brand new constructing’s facade, stated Gary Barnett, Extell’s founder: “It cost us a fortune.”

The metropolis approval course of additionally delayed the closing by a number of years, piling on bills, he stated. That is partly why Extell, in an atypical transfer, didn’t assemble a gross sales workplace for 1010 Park, which could have required an additional $5 million, Mr. Barnett stated. Instead, Extell is advertising a accomplished constructing that patrons can transfer into instantly.

“To be honest, if I had known how difficult this would be, I wouldn’t have started,” Mr. Barnett stated. “But at the end of the day, you’re in a risky business. When you start a development like this, you don’t know where you will end up.”

At the identical time, the developer could also be squeezed by the market. Since the state accredited 1010 Park’s providing plan in May 2017, Extell has decreased costs by about 10 p.c, Mr. Barnett stated.

The revised providing plan, accredited this spring, requires a beginning value of about $13 million, for a three,900-square-foot unit with 4 bedrooms and 4 and a half loos, or greater than $three,300 a sq. foot. To put these costs in perspective, new condos on the Upper East Side averaged $2,306 a sq. foot within the second quarter of this 12 months, in line with the Corcoran Group.

All advised, there are 9 single-floor items — every occupying a full ground — and two duplexes, each of which have personal terraces.

Inside, kitchen cupboards are from Smallbone of Devizes, the English firm recognized for its hand-painted woodwork, and veiny white marble adorns the grasp loos.

The limestone constructing, designed by Beyer Blinder Belle, additionally has three ranges of facilities, together with a 50-foot pool, a lounge with a marble hearth and a circus-themed youngsters’s playroom.

Mr. Barnett predicted that his constructing, a condominium in an space full of co-ops, would do effectively and promote all of its items in a speedy six months. “Co-ops can have creaky elevators, leaky roofs and no amenities,” he stated. “This is a really great alternative.”

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A model of this text seems in print on , on Page REfour of the New York version with the headline: Once Home to a Preschool, It Had to Scale Back to Old School. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe



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About Scott Morgan

Scott B. Morgan writes for Debt Management and Real Estate sections in AmericaRichest.

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