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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

The unfinished, 11-story, stainless steel-clad residential condominium building at 245 Tenth Avenue near 24th Street in Chelsea has been refinanced by a new team of investors, according to an article today at by Josh Barbanel.

The building, which was designed by Della Valle + Bernheimer, cantilevers toward a spur of the High Line Park and is one of the more sparkling gems of the architecture renaissance in West Chelsea.

The article said that "a foreclosure action by Citigroup has been withdrawn, and lawsuits by unpaid contractors have been settled."

"It is part of a new wave of optimism and fresh cash to back it up that has swarmed back into troubled Manhattan condominium projects in the last few months," the article said, "from the Apthorp on the Upper West Side, to Trump SoHo downtown - as the market for luxury condominiums has ticked up."

"Now the project, a few doors from the heart of the West Chelsea contemporary art scene," the article continued, "is being spruced up with the help of a new marketing team headed by Leonard Steinberg of Prudential Douglas Elliman. It has been scheduled to come to market in the spring, just as an adjacent extension of the High Line Park is due to open."

The article said that "the new investors, led by Todd Lippiatt of Aristone Realty Capital, are counting on prices to rebound strongly, not far below the $1,467 a square foot average that the project was asking before the condo market stumbled in the fall of 2008."

"Would-be buyers signed up for 10 of the 18 apartments," the article said, "but were eventually offered their deposits back. At 245 10th Avenue, Aristone, a New York based lender, worked with Elliott Associates, a hedge fund headed by Paul Singer, to buy out the debt holders, including the $43.3 million in debt foreclosed on by Citigroup and Hudson Realty Capital, a New York fund manager. The original developer, Grasso Holdings, headed by David Grasso who personally guaranteed the debt to Citigroup, is still a participant in the deal."

Mr. Steinberg said that the building, which is now 95% finished, had already become a landmark in the art gallery district, adding that "the quality of space light and custom finishes in a boutique-sized building is exactly what the market is seeking right now."

The project was launched in 2006 but work was delayed for months following a fatal crane collapse on East 51st Street in March 2008, because both projects used similar cranes.

"Citigroup gave Mr. Grasso more time to try to complete the building, but work on the project halted in 2009 after the developer missed a deadline and was required to offer buyers refunds on their deposits," the article said.

Press materials for the project proclaimed that, "wrapped in a combination of perforated and punched metal and tinted, fritted, and clear glass, this condominium tower in the West Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan evokes the images of steam trains." It said that the building was "wrapped in a continuous metal and glass skin" and that "this gradient skin, whose pattern was arrived at through the digital manipulation and abstraction of images of steam clouds, is accomplished through varying punches and perforations within a panelized system of semi-reflective stainless steel. The skin will be fabricated via a CNC (computer-numerically-controlled) turret punch, a machine that allows for great variation in the shapes and depths of the indentations and cuts in the metal surface. When viewed from a distance, the punches and indentation add relief and shadow, replicating, to a degree, the gradated shades of gray within clouds themselves."
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Additional Info About the Building

Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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