The wave of rental-to-co-op conversions that began in the 1980s crested long ago, and the preeminence of co-ops has been overshadowed by the recent surge of condominium development. Co-op conversions today are about as common as a harmonious session by the U.S. House of Representatives.
But the 24-story Tribeca Green tower, built as a luxury rental building in Battery Park City in the early 21st century, is now bucking that trend, Curbed reports. With the Related Companies, the original developer, serving as sponsor and working in collaboration with the original architect, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the property is being renovated and converted into a housing cooperative — of the decidedly upscale variety.
Related is converting the tower's 273 rental units into co-ops as they roll over. A lavishly renovated two-bedroom co-op runs around $1.5 million, while three-bedrooms start over $3 million — a good value for downtown, according to brokers. (Sales prices in Battery Park City tend to be a little lower than surrounding areas because the buildings are on land leases, which means higher monthly carrying costs that tamp down sales prices.) Though $1.5 million may not strike many as affordable, buying anything in Manhattan these days takes considerable means.
“Anyone in the Manhattan sales market is a luxury buyer,” Compass’ Leonard Steinberg says.
When Tribeca Green opened in 2005, it was part of a new crop of rental towers on the northern edge of Battery Park. It was upscale but not opulent, with a gym, a 24-hour concierge, stainless steel appliances, and rents that started at $2,495 a month — high but not insane. The building suited the neighborhood — a place popular with young families and yuppies that was still considered a bargain compared to other parts of Manhattan.
Nearly 20 years later, no one looking for an apartment downtown is impressed by a gym or stainless steel appliances. Both the luxury market and downtown Manhattan have moved into a far more rarefied realm. The average sales price in Battery Park City is $1.5 million and likely to climb. In nearby Tribeca the average is $3.5 million, and in Hudson Square, to the north, it’s $1.9 million.
Accordingly, the amenity spaces at Tribeca Green are doubling in size and opulence. Now there are co-working spaces overlooking Teardrop Park , a maker space, a teen lounge inspired by the Shah of Iran’s nightclub, a billiards room, a cocktail lounge, a private dining room, a screening room, extensive terraces, including one on the rooftop, and a revamped children’s play space.
"Even the children," Curbed concludes, "seem to expect more now."
"Reba Miller, an associate broker at Compass, puts it another way: “I’ve never seen so many young people with the amount of money buyers have these days. And they only want brand new.”
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