View Single Post
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 1:21 PM
NYguy's Avatar
NYguy NYguy is offline
New Yorker for life
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Borough of Jersey
Posts: 41,183
Everyone just needs to relax. Here's that piece from a couple of months ago...


Robert Gladstone on Selling Out 212 Fifth Avenue and the 45 Broad Street Development
The head of Madison Equities (who sold an $80M apartment to Jeff Bezos) has conquered NoMad and is ready for FiDi

JULY 16, 2019

The head of Madison Equities was able to completely sell out the 48 units in the company’s condo conversion project at 212 Fifth Avenue last month, after nearly four years of development and some turbulence—including a lawsuit against its original brokers, delays to construction, a fluctuating price to its penthouse and a struggling luxury market.

The average apartment in the building, which Madison developed with Building and Land Technology and Thor Equities, sold for about $10 million, and the building reportedly attracted some big-name buyers.

But perhaps the one to get the most ink was Jeff Bezos’ nearly $80 million purchase of the penthouse—which had its listing price bounce around from $73.8 million to $58 million—along with the two units below it last month, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Aside from selling out 212 Fifth Avenue, Madison is also near the finish line on the foundation for its ambitious—and risky—building at 45 Broad Street in the Financial District. The project will be the first residential in the neighborhood, planned to rise 1,100 feet, and Gladstone has spent the past few years installing 470 steel piles into the ground for the building.

Commercial Observer sat down with Gladstone in his Madison Avenue office to talk about the development of both buildings and his recent crusade to try to help make the subway system more accessible.
What’s the status of the 45 Broad Street project?

[It’s] still in the foundation stage. We had several methods presented to us to do the foundation. The building sits on rock, but the rock is 45 feet down. We had ways that would have shaved six to nine months off the foundation process and $5, $6, $7 or $8 million off of it.

We chose two years ago to go in the direction of this substantial foundation. We have 470 vertical elements [concrete rods drilled into the ground that create a wall] on the bottom floor—which is 9,000 square feet. It’s something called secant piles. We’re grabbing rock at all these locations.

All the drilling and piling is now completed and now we’re starting on the actual pouring of the foundation. That will go on for four months and it will have taken us two years to do this and a lot more money then we wanted to spend.
But the elevators will work perfectly because they will be sitting on solid ground.
What was the concept you had when you started this project?

The views [start in the Financial District] at 240 feet. So I said, “That’s exactly where I want to start the apartments.” Below that, we have amenity space and eight floors of office space, mechanical and so forth. Almost every apartment has a view of water, which is really very important.

We also sized the units so that the average sale would be in the mid-$2 millions and that this could be an alternative place for people to live. Mostly two bedrooms so it would satisfy couples, “baby maybes.” A “baby maybe” says, right now we need a large one [bedroom] but we maybe might need two. There are a number of threes for families. Schools down in this area are sensational, some of New York’s best schools, so we knew that we would be attracting families and yet we wanted to keep the prices as low as possible.
Can you talk a little bit about the subway elevators being built with this project?

When this began, I learned there was something called the subway improvement bonus [where a developer pays for an improvement to a subway station in exchange for a zoning benefit] which is a very enlightened idea the city uses.

New York City has 24 percent of its [subway] stations that are accessible for people with disabilities. The next worse city is 60 percent and there are cities in this country that have 100 percent. At first, I thought, “This is an interesting thing. I’m doing social good and I didn’t think it would cost too much.” I understood that this is the J/Z line, so it’s the terminus of one and the beginning of the other. [It has] split platforms and, especially after 9/11, we needed two elevators. I figured the cost would be between $8 and $11 million and it’s costing $22 million, which is ridiculous.

When I met with the individuals with disabilities, who came to each one of our approval programs, it was very moving. These people were extraordinarily articulate and happily came, spent their own money, asked for nothing and spoke upon the building’s behalf. Needless to say, we’re very proud and happy to do that and the two elevators will be built. We’ve spoken to the borough president’s office about expanding this program so that it can be done by other developers in other locations. Let private enterprise do what city can no longer afford. And I think that is the catch-all for what business citizens are supposed to do.
NEW YORK. World's capital.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.