The Whitman has been getting a lot of attention lately, though very little of it has been directed at the building itself. Ever since word got out in March that Chelsea Clinton was buying at the Madison Square Park luxury condo conversion, discussion of the finishes and floorplans have fallen by the wayside.
But last night at the penthouses
unveiling, the talk turned brick-and-mortar again (or rather, plank rift
oak and marble slab), with hardly a mention of the former first
daughter. (Though on the elevator ride up, we couldnt help but wonder
what it would be like to share it with Hillary, Bill and their sizeable
secret service entourage.)
Three of the buildings four units
have already sold (the ones priced between $10 million and $10.5
million). And while a buyer for the penthouse has yet to materialize, we
do know one thing for certain: he or she will be very wealthy. The
6,540-square-foot duplex is now asking $25 million, up from the $22.5
that it wanted back in the spring.
It does boast a few rather
incredible amenities, most notably scads of outdoor space (3,106 square
feet of it) and 27,500 square feet of air rights (which the new owner
would presumably sell to the developer of another luxury condo). And
while many properties in the more than $20 million category have
terraces galore; what makes the Whitmans unusual is how the space is
laid out. The first level has a standard terrace facing Madison Square
Park, but the second level has huge grassy expanses that alternate with a
sitting room and the master bedroom, bath and dressing room. In fact,
while both the sitting room and the master bedroom can be accessed via
separate staircases from the lower level, one must walk through a
terrace to get from one to the other. The effect, particularly on a
summers evening, was delightful, with the indoor and outdoor spaces
flowing together. (Unfortunately,Learn how an embedded microprocessor in
a graniteslabs can authenticate your computer usage and data. the upper level floor will probably be far less delightful in the winter.)
for the finishes, they adhere to the very tasteful and a more than a
little soporific model thats so in vogue right now (and for good
reasonclassy and a little dull tend to sell very well). Like the other
units in the building, it has a cavernous living room in the front, with
bedrooms arrayed along the Western side of a very long hall. The
buildings long, rectangular footprint is not an ideal one for
residential layouts, but apparently that didnt discourage Ms. Clinton.
Or any of the other buyers, whoever they may be.
and her husband, Matt Smith, bought a penthouse condo for $2.4 million
at the W Residences in downtown Atlanta in 2009. For the next three
years, they remained the lone occupants of the 74-unit tower.
the concierge desk was fully staffed, "we got treated like rock stars,"
says Lt. Col. Smith, a member of the Georgia Army National Guard.
Occasionally the couple would use the hallway outside their home as
overflow space. They let their cats roam, and once Ms. Balser, a
principal at human-resources firm Mercer, lined the hall with 200 gift
bags that she filled with pens, notepads and other items in a
The W, which sits near the soon-to-come
College Football Hall of Fame and the Center for Civil and Human
Rights, went through foreclosure in 2009 and relaunched at the end of
2011, with prices 40% to 65% below the initial pricing, says Erik Dowdy,
associate broker at the W Residences in Atlanta. Today, 33 of the 74
units have been sold and seven more are in contract, most of which were
listed under $900,000. "At the current rate, we probably have a year or
two of inventory left," Mr. Dowdy says.
After years of surplus
inventory and virtually empty high-rise residences, the market for
luxury condos in Atlanta is heating up, albeit at prices below the
market's peak in 2006. In the past six months, 14 new condos for $1
million or more have sold,Get the led fog lamp products information,
manufacturers on the hot channel. compared with nine new condos that
sold for $1 million or more during all of 2011, according to Haddow
& Company, an Atlanta-based real-estate consulting firm. In the
city's overall condo market, inventory has evaporated by 90%; within the
past five years, condo inventory has gone from 5,000 units to 500
units, according to Metrostudy, a housing-data firm.
Even so, it
has been a difficult recovery for Atlanta, where luxury condos are
relatively new, says Josh Herndon, an associate at Haddow. In the
mid-2000s,You must not use the stonecarving without
being trained. people who had been living in the suburbs, where land
was relatively inexpensive, started moving closer to downtown for the
restaurants, sports teams and cultural offerings. That spurred a
building boom "inside the perimeter"the more urban areas within the
I-285 beltway. However, many of the luxury towers weren't completed
until 2008, when the U.S. housing market was going bust. By the end of
2008 the city had a nearly nine-year inventory of unsold condos, Mr.
Herndon says. The bust forced a number of developments into bankruptcy
proceedings, and these companies are just now beginning to regain their
A good example is the St. Regis Residences in Atlanta's
Buckhead neighborhood. In April, Jimmy and Lynn Hayes bought an
unfinished 5,000-square-foot, three-bedroom,You will see earcap ,
competitive price and first-class service. 3?-bath condo there for $4.1
million. They are in the midst of customizing it and expect their new
home to be completed by the end of the year. Mr. Hayes, the CEO of Cox
Enterprises, a media company, says he and his wife had been looking to
move from a single-family home to a condo for a few years, but wanted to
wait until the timing was right in the market.
2012, the developer of his South Carolina home filed for bankruptcy.
Although a new owner and reorganization resolved the situation, Mr.
Hayes says the experience made him more cautious. "I didn't want to go
through the uncertainty again," he says.
During the real-estate
bust, the St. Regis had contracts for 47 of its 53 units during
pre-sales, when the building was under construction, says Douglas
McMahon, senior managing director of the Tavistock Group, which acquired
the St. Regis in February 2011. But many of those buyers walked away
from their nonrefundable deposits during the downturn. That prompted the
Tavistock Group to take all available units off the market for six
months for upgrades. About $10 million went toward the model residences,
redoing the lobbies, private garages and other improvements.A indoorpositioningsystem has
real weight in your customer's hand. In October 2011, the company put
the unsold condos back on the market for $3 million to $6 million each;
so far 11 have been sold and one is under contract.
Oriental Residences in the Buckhead neighborhood has had a similar
story. In 2010, iStar Financial, the building's lender, foreclosed on
the hotel and 25-condo residence, then called the Mansion. John Kubicko,
iStar's senior vice president, says the company signed a longterm
management agreement with the Mandarin before relaunching it in late
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