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How JDS Avoids Competition

New York

JDS Development pays a lot for its sites; then again, that's to make sure it's not overpaying. Wait, what? Ummm, follow-up question.


The luxury residential firm's Simon Koster (whom we snapped with colleague Amanda Garrett in their Fifth Avenue office last week) tells us competition is thick and thus prices high on smaller deals, but the big, complicated sites JDS likes draw fewer bidders. Hence JDS paid $247M to assemble the Steinway site (a JV with Property Markets Group), for which Simon tells us Landmarks has just approved the plan for a 1,350-foot condo tower there, including the restoration of the Steinway Hall office building.


We've been told this rendering isn't of two transformers fighting. Rather it's where JDS paid $200M to Sheldon Solow in February for two acres at 626 First Ave, one of Manhattan's biggest land deals in years. Simon tells us the economics will allow JDS to build apartments, notable in Manhattan, which has become the land of condos. Foundation work is underway, and the 800 units will deliver next year. As for its other biggies: Condo buyers start moving into Walker Tower (also a Property Markets Group JV) in November, leasing is imminent for Williamsburg's 50 N 1st St, and Gowanus' 202 8th St apartments sold last month to Werber Management for $38M.