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Penthouse at No. 33 Park Row (Compass) Penthouse at No. 33 Park Row (Compass)
From time to time, sponsor units come on the market. But what is a sponsor unit? The short answer is that it is a unit that has never been sold.

In most cases, sponsor units are found in new condos. In this instance, the units are being sold by the condo developer. The main advantage of buying a sponsor unit from a developer is that you’re buying a new unit that has never been marred by another tenant’s wear and tear. While deals can be had, especially when supply outpaces demand, buyers must be prepared to absorb higher closing costs, including state and city transfer taxes.

In rare cases, it is also possible to buy a sponsor unit in a coop. Sometimes, it is even possible to buy a sponsor unit in a pre-war coop. In this instance, the unit is either being sold by the coop’s original sponsor or, in the case of a pre-war coop, by the person or entity who inherited the original sponsor’s units. This unique situation comes with many notable advantages and a few disadvantages.

In this article:

424 West 52nd Street
424 West 52nd Street Midtown West
1228 Madison Avenue
1228 Madison Avenue Carnegie Hill
One Essex Crossing, 202 Broome Street
One Essex Crossing, 202 Broome Street Lower East Side
Maverick, 215 West 28th Street
Maverick, 215 West 28th Street Chelsea
500W25, 500 West 25th Street
500W25, 500 West 25th Street Chelsea

The Pros of Buying a Sponsor Unit in a Coop

Purchasing a sponsor unit in a coop is desirable for two key reasons: there is greater room to negotiate, and buyers can skip the board approval process.

On the negotiation side, sponsor units are not subject to the coop board’s financial requirements. This means that there can be more room to close a deal under different conditions (e.g., with higher than average financing or no Escrow). This isn’t to say that sponsors don’t look at one’s credit worthiness. They simply aren’t obliged to follow the same rules applied to other coop buyers. For someone who needs to enter a deal with lower money down or can’t make the Escrow requirements imposed by many coop boards, a sponsor unit can be a great way to walk through an otherwise closed door.
Another notable advantage of purchasing a sponsor unit in a coop is that sponsor unit sales by-pass the coop board approval process. This means that while the buyer will be a shareholder in the coop with all the same rights and responsibilities, they will never be asked to undergo the agonizing experience of having everything from their finances to personal hobbies to pets assessed and scrutinized by their future neighbors. Given how invasive coop interviews can be, this itself makes sponsor units highly attractive.

The Cons of Buying a Sponsor Unit in a Coop

Despite the flexible financing and ability to bypass the board approval process, sponsor units do come with their own potential challenges.

If you discover a sponsor unit in a coop, unless the sponsor has already done a renovation before listing the unit, you’ll likely be looking at a unit in “vintage” or estate condition. While this may offer a lot of charm (e.g., original crown moldings and fixtures), it may also mean that the unit hasn’t been renovated in decades, if at all. In this case, the unit may require a complete gut renovation before it is livable.
Buyers of sponsor units are also strongly advised to investigate the unit’s past tenancy. If it is coming on the market for the first time in decades, it was likely a rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartment. As part of one’s due diligence, it is important to research the property’s history to ensure that the tenants were not forced out of the unit under questionable or illegal conditions.

Another disadvantage of buying a sponsor unit is cost. Because sponsor units come with a few notable advantages (namely, less scrutiny of one’s finances and personal affairs), they tend to be in high demand. This means they often sell for more than other units in the same coop. In addition, sponsor units in coops, like those in new condos, nearly always come with additional closing costs.

New and Notable Sponsor Condo Listings in NYC
567-Ocean-Avenue-01 All images of 567 Ocean Avenue via Nest Seekers
From the listing: Graced with a prime Prospect Park South location and an abundance of natural light, this pristine 1-bathroom studio is an exemplar of contemporary Brooklyn living. Features of this 405-square-foot home include beautiful wide plank white oak floors, floor-to-ceiling triple-pane windows, a Smart-Lock door, built-in USB outlets, energy-saving heating and cooling, plenty of closet space, and a washer/dryer hook-up. See full details here.

2218-Ocean-Avenue-01 All images of The Q Condo via Compass
From the Listing: Apartment 6F at The Q contains a modern and super efficient 2 bedroom and 2 full bathroom layout. All residences in the building feature handsome weathered gray oak durable multi-layer engineered flooring, sound-attentive Pella double-paned windows, striking Caeserstone slab counters and backsplashes, custom-built Scavolini cabinetry and millwork, high-end appliances, and contemporary fixtures and finishes throughout. What's more, every apartment contains an in-unit washer/dryer and a separate storage unit included in the sale! See full details here.

111-Montgomery-Street-01 All images of 111 Montgomery Street via Compass
From the Listing: For a limited time, sponsor to pay a credit equal to 1-year of common charges. Residence 5K is a brand new 675 sf southwest-facing 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom. Poised at the nexus of two legendary destinations: Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 111 Montgomery is a brand new condominium with amenities never before seen in Crown Heights. See full details here.

368-Third-Avenue-01 All images of VU New York via Brown Harris Stevens
From the Listing: Residence 5A is a highly sought after studio that stuns with natural light from its Eastern exposure. This home features an expansive living space with floor to ceiling windows. The efficient layout is easily furnished and highlights a separate entry foyer and an open kitchen with a desirable breakfast bar. VU's light and airy interiors are carefully crafted by renowned interior designer Paris Forino to complement soaring ceilings and panoramic city and East River views. See full details here.

139-Huron-Street-01 All images of Bath Haus via Compass
From the Listing: Originally constructed in 1903 as one of 13 Public Bath Houses in New York City, this architectural jewel has now been reimagined for 21st century living. Designed by award-winning NYC design firm Meshberg Group- the residence interiors at the Bath Haus are elegant and minimalist. Natural Carrara and Bello marble reference the building's history, while 7" PID European oak flooring and oversized custom windows bring warmth and sunlight into each home. Kitchens feature a fully integrated Bosch and Leibherr appliance package with matte white and brushed metal finish cabinetry, and each residence comes with a Bosch washer and dryer. See full details here.

3-Court-Square-01 All images of Skyline Tower via Modern Spaces
From the Listing: This high floor one-bedroom is a generously-sized residence with an eastern exposure. You'll be delighted with the distinctive European white oak engineered wood flooring throughout, the large bedroom and ample walk-in closet. The spacious living room is highlighted by three oversized windows that brighten the space with an abundance of natural light. The stylish contemporary kitchen is ideally suited for both everyday living and new culinary experiences. See full details here.

531-East-12th-Street-01 All images of The Avant via Sotheby's International Realty
From the Listing: Developed by visionaries Delshah Capital and interiors envisioned by award winning architects Bluarch, Residence 3B is an exceptional one-bedroom, one-bath with home office and beautiful views of the tree tops and bringing the outside in. Boasting a bright southern exposure the spacious living and dining room space features an open kitchen. The primary bedroom can accommodate king-or queen-sized furniture and offers a large closet. The home office is set off the kitchen and can also function as a formal dining area. The expansive windows in this home exude warmth, air, and light to every room all throughout the day. Residents will enjoy solid white oak floors, an open chefs' kitchen with white Italian cabinetry, detailed brass hardware, travertine marble and a white quartz. See full details here.

205-Freeman-Street-01 All images of 205 Freeman Street via Nest Seekers
From the Listing: Residence 2 offers a generous 1,159-square-foot of open-plan living space with 2 beds, 2 baths, and 2 balconies. The closet space far exceeds anything in the neighborhood, and your very own entry vestibule offers an additional mudroom. The open kitchen is comprised of the perfect combination of warm grey and custom wood cabinetry complemented by honed Caesarstone countertops and backsplashes in Alpine Mist. The kitchens appliances include a full Bosch suite with a custom paneled refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher. See full details here.

208-Delancey-Street-01 All images of 208 Delancey Street via Compass
From the Listing: Situated in the heart of the Lower East Side, 208 Delancey offers a holistic living experience with an array of indoor and outdoor amenities. 8B is a 743-square-foot 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom home with eastern-facing views and a 162-square-foot balcony. It features an incredibly efficient, well proportioned layout. For bonus features it will also attract an immense amount of natural sunlight, plus the luxury of a private outdoor space off the living/dining room. The open kitchen layout leads directly to the living/dining area which directly faces a sea of windows and is ideal for entertainment. See full details here.

77-Charlton-Street-01 All images of77 Charlton Street via Toll Brothers City Living
From the Listing: Located in the heart of West Soho, steps to some of the city's finest dining, shopping and galleries, 77 Charlton is a full-service condominium from Toll Brothers City Living. Residence N7B is a 754 SF 1-bedroom with northern exposure, overlooking King Street. The home features 6'' white oak flooring, oversized windows and 10'6" ceilings. The open kitchen has a spacious island and is equipped with Thermador and Bosch appliances, Brazilian quartzite countertops and Scavolini oak cabinetry. The bathroom offers a Scavolini vanity with a quartz countertop and large medicine cabinet, a limestone accent wall and basaltina flooring. The home comes with a Bosch washer and dryer. See full details here.

351-Warren-Street-01 All images of 351 Warren Street via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: Welcome home to 351 Warren Street, a classic Brooklyn brownstone that has been reborn as four new condominium homes. Residence 4 occupies the entire top floor and has an oversized full-width living room with ample room for true entertaining. The large U-shaped chef's kitchen is a true showpiece with waterfall counters and integrated Bosch appliances. The two bedrooms are spacious and sunny, with the primary bedroom opening onto a private balcony overlooking the rear yard. See full details here.

30-East-29th-Street-01 All images of Rose Hill via CORE
From the Listing: Residence 18C is an 813-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath with a fantastic northern view overlooking iconic architecture. Interiors boast rusticated hardwood floors, bronze-finished hardware, and soaring ceilings of up to 11 feet high with window heights of nine feet. The open kitchen with Miele appliances features custom ultra-matte, dark charcoal woodwork, metal-framed glass upper cabinetry, and Calacatta honed marble countertops. Anchored by a custom-designed vanity, the dramatic master bath offers brass-finished fixtures and radiant heated floors in dark, veined marble. Ample closet space and washer/dryers complete this ideal home, which can be augmented with storage available at additional cost. See full details here.

424-West-52nd-Street-01 All images of 424 West 52nd Street via Halstead
From the Listing: 424 West 52nd Street is collection of seven elegant and modern full-floor luxury homes located in the heart of Hell's Kitchen. Each residence exudes exceptional attention to detail with elevated finishes and superior design. The keyed elevator entry opens directly into the homes foyer gallery leading to a custom designed kitchen featuring two tone white oak lower cabinets complimented by gray lacquered upper cabinets, with integrated lighting, large island with seating, custom closet pantry system, polished Emperador grey marble countertops and backsplash and a Miele appliance suite, which includes a five burner gas cooktop, convection oven, purline speed oven with microwave function, integrated refrigerator, dishwasher and undercounter wine refrigerator. See full details here.

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168-Plymouth-Street-01 All images of 168 Plymouth via Sotheby's International Realty
From the Listing: This coveted corner Daylight Factory loft with 2 corners is a 2 bedroom plus home office with 2 full baths. Upon entry, there is a foyer and entry area with a home office area that opens onto the southwest corner kitchen, living and dining area. The custom designed RiFRA Italian kitchen includes Miele appliances, porcelain stone countertops, a blackened Dornbracht faucet and a bleached white oak island. The primary bedroom and bathroom suite are located on the northwest corner with prime west facing views. The primary bath features a custom Haisa marble mosaic on the floor, double showers with Dornbracht fixtures, large format heather grey porcelain tiles and a custom RiFRA bleached white oak vanity. Other features include wide plank white oak flooring and restored concrete beams and columns, a perfect mix of historic character and contemporary interiors. See full details here.

30-East-31st-Street-01 All images of 30 E 31 via Reuveni Real Estate
From the Listing: NOW OFFERING 2 YEARS FREE OF COMMON CHARGES! Residence 31 is a full-floor 2-bedroom/2.5-bath residence has 9'-9' ceilings, offering abundant light and views to the north, west, and south, capturing the dynamic New York City skyline. This sophisticated home offers 7' wide-plank white oak flooring throughout, expansive picture-frame windows and multi-zone climate control. The residence boasts a 4-pipe HVAC system, allowing for simultaneous heating and cooling in different zones. The inviting kitchen offers custom walnut cabinetry, crafted in Italy, and is complemented by exquisite quartzite countertops and backsplashes with a leather-textured finish. Elegant fixtures, custom designed by Morris Adjmi, and appliances by Bosch, Sub-Zero and Wolf (with a range hood that vents out) to complete the picture. See full details here.

515-West-18th-Street-01 All images of Lantern House via Corcoran
From the Listing: Dramatic three-dimensional bay windows are featured in every room at Lantern House offering charm, character and enhanced light and views keeping residents and their sense of home at the center of its design ethos. Residence 607 is an elegant two-bedroom, two-bath home that offers southern exposure over tree-lined 18th Street. The oversized great room with two large bay windows leads to beautiful interiors that feature a generous kitchen custom designed by March & White and including custom bronze finished trim and hardware, Gaggenau appliances including wine refrigeration, a custom suspended light fixture of bronze-finished metal and specialty glass, convex fluted oak cabinetry, Calacatta Venato marble slab countertops and backsplash, 5" wide plank French oak flooring, in-residence washer and dryer and ceiling heights of up to 10'9". See full details here.

138-East-50th-Street-01 All images of The Centrale via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: This expansive two-bedroom, two-bathroom residence designed by Champalimaud offers north, west, and south exposures through floor-to-ceiling windows. White oak flooring throughout leads from the entry into an open living and dining concept, complete with a chef's kitchen offering honed Capri marble countertops, backsplash, and a waterfall island with room for seating. The kitchen has a refined aesthetic with streamlined custom white oak millwork that seamlessly integrates a full Gaggenau appliance package, including an undercounter wine refrigerator, complemented by Dornbracht fixtures. The primary bedroom features an expansive walk-in closet and en-suite five fixture primary bath. See full details here.

252-South-Street-01 All images of One Manhattan Square via Corcoran
From the Listing: Residence 64A is a 1,667-square-foot three-bedroom, three-bathroom with an open gourmet kitchen and breakfast bar. This spacious corner residence faces North West and South West, with New York Harbor views and expansive City Skyline. Warm, modern interiors are brought to life by the renowned design team at Meyer Davis Studio. This residence features imported stone and custom finishes, premium Miele appliance package, 5" wide stained oak flooring, master bath with custom wood cabinetry, marble tile walls and mosaic floors with radiant heat, undermount Wetstyle sink with glass vanity top and Dornbracht polished chrome faucets and a washer and dryer. One Manhattan Square presents one of the last available 20-year tax abatement in New York City. See full details here.

108-Leonard-Street-01 All images of 108 Leonard via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: Offering infinite opportunity for interior appointment, this spectacular 1,768-square-foot split 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath residence boasts scale, volume, and character without compromise. Upon arrival, a spacious gallery proceeds to an elegantly proportioned corner Great Room with optimal window density and exposure north and west. Gorgeous wide plank blond flooring arranged in a chevron pattern runs throughout the entertaining spaces. Custom designed by Jeffrey Beers International exclusively for 108 Leonard, Scavolini kitchen cabinetry is featured in an open plan with a Arabescato Cervaiole marble countertop, backsplash, and waterfall island replete with supplemental storage and ideal for both everyday dining and seamless entertaining. See full details here.

500-West-25th-Street-01 All images of 500W25 via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: Meticulously designed by architect-developer GDSNY, this full-floor 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom corner residence comprising of 2,375 interior square feet and 210 exterior square feet that seamlessly marries modern design, impeccable craftsmanship with a sensuous palette of warm, natural materials that accentuate luxury living at its finest. A keyed elevator opens into a spacious private foyer that separates living and entertaining spaces from the three bedrooms, allowing for as much or as little privacy as desired. Offering an abundance of natural light through the floor-to-ceiling wall of windows that span the entire 23-foot wide great room, expansive views of the city, 10'+ foot ceilings, and 6" Siberian wide-plank white oak floors throughout is perfect for dining and entertaining. See full details here.

15-East-30th-Street-01 All images of Madison House via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: In the heart of stylish NoMad, Madison House offers unsurpassed panoramic views of New York City, where every residence has a corner window and 11-foot ceilings or higher. This 1,541-square-foot two-bedroom, two and a half-bath residence opens into an elegant entry foyer, leading to a living and dining room encased with 10-foot tall windows with north and east views. Gachot-designed custom rift-cut cabinetry accentuates the open kitchen, with a honed Calacatta Borghini marble waterfall island and backsplash. Gaggenau appliances including a cooktop, combi-steam oven, convection double oven, refrigerator, and wine refrigerator outfit the kitchen. White oak 5-inch plank floors and 9-foot solid walnut doors are featured throughout the residence. See full details here.

108-Leonard-Street-01 All images of 108 Leonard Street via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: Paying homage to the most coveted elements of an architectural masterpiece at 108 Leonard, ornamental majesty and historic provenance are leveraged anew with fresh modern forms and contemporary design priorities. This 2,015-square-foot 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath residence features unrivaled quality and composition. Upon arrival, the entry gallery leads to an exceptional Great Room with dramatic arched windows. This particular residence is finished in the Sand palette and features wide plank blond oak flooring arranged in a chevron pattern. See full details here.

215-West-28th-Street-01 All images of Maverick Chelsea via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: This expansive 1,848-square-foot three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath residence features both northern and southern exposures and an exceptional entertaining space. The entry foyer leads into the proportioned living and dining rooms with an adjacent chef's kitchen. Oversized, southern-facing tilt-and-turn windows bathe the residence in natural light, while 7" wide white European oak flooring flows throughout. Anchored by a white Fantasy Marble island with a leather finish, the kitchen is complete with a fully integrated Miele appliance package including a dishwasher and wine fridge. See full details here.

202-Broome-Street-01 All images of One Essex Crossing via Corcoran
From the Listing: Wrapping the southeast corner of One Essex Crossing, Penthouse E offers 1,693 square feet of interior space, flooded with natural light throughout the day and features fantastic views overlooking the Lower East Side and down toward the Financial District. Penthouse E boasts a stunning 712-square-foot wraparound private roof terrace showcasing stunning views to the northeast and southwest including the Financial District. With ceilings of approximately 10', this CetraRuddy-designed home features wide plank European Oak flooring, a highly customized open kitchen with One Essex Crossing's noteworthy signature mesh storage cabinet incorporated into the backsplash, imported Italian cabinetry, and honed Dolomiti marble on the countertops and waterfall. See full details here.

525-West-27th-Street-01 All images of Jardim via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: Residence 9A is a meticulously conceived 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom residence comprising 3,102 interior and 201 exterior square feet offers an attention to detail rarely found in any new development. Sliding walls of glass throughout to create the ultimate indoor / outdoor living experience. An 18' entry gallery opens onto a nearly 40' indoor /outdoor living and dining room at one end and a gracious entertaining den on the other. The gracious custom Isay Weinfeld designed Molteni kitchen offers Gaggenau appliances and sleek stainless steels countertops and backsplash. The private south- facing primary bedroom suite wing includes a windowed indoor /outdoor bathroom and separate dressing room. See full details here.

1228-Madison-Avenue-01 All images of 1228 Madison Avenue via Corcoran
From the Listing: The Tenth Floor at 1228 Madison Avenue is a 4-bedroom/5.5-bath full-floor home with north, east, south and west exposures, and views of Central Park and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. The elegant elevator vestibule leads to the dramatic 8' white oak entry door, and opens into an entry foyer with custom stained white oak floor in a chevron pattern. The chevron pattern continues through the living spaces of the residence, leading to the great room with an adjacent en suite guest room or library and a 184-square-foot corner terrace overlooking Madison Avenue. Separated from the great room by a pair of pocket doors, the sunny eat-in kitchen features white matte lacquer Molteni cabinetry with white oak tambour detail, and honed Calacatta Estremoz slab countertops, backsplash and island with seating for four, as well as a full-height butler's pantry. See full details here.

1059-Third-Avenue-01 All images of The Leyton via Halstead
From the Listing: This grand high floor residence boasts 3,557 square feet of luxurious living complete with a 204-square-foot terrace. The sprawling great room, dining area and elegant open kitchen showcase unparalleled birds-eye views of the iconic New York skyline and Central Park. Privately located at the other end of this home is the primary bedroom suite flaunting 270-degree views of the East River and Queensboro Bridge and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. In an era of luxury, Elena Frampton's interior creation gives way to the power of the unexpected. See full details here.

33-Park-Row-01 All images of No. 33 Park Row via Compass
From the listing: Introducing the first residential property in New York City by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Rogers, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Penthouse One features a split four bedrooms and four-and-two-half bathrooms duplex layout including a dramatic 596-square-foot loggia terrace with direct protected park facing exposure, generous proportions of 3,635 square feet, and two private elevator landings. The interiors feature stunning 15-foot-high ceilings and wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking City Hall Park. See full details here.

15-Hudson-Yards-01 All images of Fifteen Hudson Yards via Serhant
From the Listing: Introducing this never-before-lived-in sky mansion in the exclusive Hudson Yards neighborhood, a sublime 4-bedroom, 5-bathroom condo with a one-of-a-kind combination layout enveloped in shimmering floor-to-ceiling windows. Additional features of the apartment include beautiful hardwood floors, triple exposure, a side-by-side washer/dryer, soaring ceilings over 10 ft. in height, and expansive views of the Hudson River, the Empire State Building, and the Manhattan skyline. See full details here.

Would you like to tour any of these properties?
Just complete the info below.
  1. Select which properties are of interest to you:

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Would you like to tour any of these properties?
Contributing Writer Cait Etherington Cait Etherington has over twenty years of experience working as a journalist and communications consultant. Her articles and reviews have been published in newspapers and magazines across the United States and internationally. An experienced financial writer, Cait is committed to exposing the human side of stories about contemporary business, banking and workplace relations. She also enjoys writing about trends, lifestyles and real estate in New York City where she lives with her family in a cozy apartment on the twentieth floor of a Manhattan high rise.