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Why This Developer Thinks His Tower Will Fetch Record Prices


While 520 Park Ave’s (above) just starting construction, its sales office is already open, offering apartments in the buildings for record prices, including one unit at $130M—a price tag that would shatter the existing mark by roughly 30%.

Despite the combo of global markets tanking (something that could actually help the US market) and condo prices hitting record highs, developer William Lie Zeckendorf remains confident the 520 Park Ave will beat his 2008 record project 15 Central Park West (below), which took in $2B in total sales.

Everything concerns me," William says of the global downturn, "but, very funny, we think we’ve seen more Chinese buyers in the last 60 days than ever before."

Chinese buyers are drawn to stability of the US real estate market. And with the EB-5 program set to expire Sept. 30, it could've spurred a last minute dash to move money into the US. (The program was eventually extended until December.)

The 54-story tower at Park will be completed in 2018, complete with 33 full-floor units and five duplex penthouses. Basic units will be 5.1k SF with 360-degree views and will start—yes, START—at $30M. The building’s flagship unit—a 12.4k SF penthouse with 1.7k SF of outdoor space—is listed at $130M, and the Zeckendorfs aren’t budging on the price.

In addition to foreign capital, William says local demand will help push the monster deals through. "We're also seeing record-breaking prices being paid by New Yorkers," he says.

And while prices have waned for older Manhattan apartments, price per SF in new developments is reaching record highs, up 17% from last year, and still experiencing a 61% sales surge.

"Supply is low, demand is high," Williams says, "and the question becomes, on the new development side, what will that do to the overall market?" William remains unconvinced 5,000 will do anything to shift that overall, but "it might impact the submarkets." [CNBC]