The developer of Downtown’s first luxury condo tower channeled Crazy Eddie this week, with prices so low on his tough-to-sell units he’d like you to think he’s practically giving it all away!
The building’s developer has cut prices — by up to 25 percent — on his remaining 180 units at the 40-story Oro tower on Gold Street in an aggressive attempt to unload vacant apartments during what could be the nastiest real-estate disaster since the Great Depression.
The development team spun the fire sale as an “aggressive pricing position” and a “great opportunity to make a solid, long-term investment in a completed building in one of the fastest growing neighborhoods of New York City.”
But everyone knows what’s going on: Downtown is temporarily Nontown.
The Oro condo tower occupies a plot in the struggling-to-be-burgeoning community along the Flatbush Avenue corridor — which includes the more than 1,000 new units in the Oro and the soon to be livable Toren and Avalon Fort Greene developments. If that isn’t enough competition for the luxury condo seller, there are also 1,553 other new units in the Downtown area — the result of the controversial 2005 rezoning that encouraged high-rise construction between the Manhattan Bridge and Fulton Street.
For Oro, the proximity to other condo towers, both existing and under construction, has been part of the problem, according to some neighborhood brokers.
“Oro and other towers, like the Avalon Fort Greene, are really under the gun,” said broker Roslyn Huebener, who says the problems at the new luxury units stem from their unoriginal cookie-cutter designs.
“In [the Oro] building there are [many] apartments that are exactly alike — and the people who like them, bought them and now, what do you do with the rest?” she added. “They are not original like other buildings with four or six different units. They’re putting a glut in their own buildings.”
Downtown super-broker Chris Havens told The Brooklyn Paper the price cuts aren’t a case of desperation on the part of the developer, but a dose of common sense.
“Reality is setting in on pricing,” Havens said. “The coming year will see a lot more aggressive pricing to get down to the market price.”
But Havens said that the big price cuts at Oro — which touts Manhattan-style amenities like a doorman, a fitness center, a 50-foot indoor lap pool, and basketball, and racquetball courts — might start a trend among Brooklyn condo towers.
“Oro is really leading the way and others will follow, it’s happening all over the borough,” Havens said. “But when people see 25 percent off, they come in. It’s attracting attention.”
But despite all the negative talk, Faris is offering deals, deals, deals.
The developer marked down a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit on the 36th floor from $1 million to $875,000, while a three-bedroom, three-bath dropped from $1.5 million to $1.2 million.
Studios, originally priced at $357,000, dropped to $295,000.
The developers claim they have no intention of turning the 40-story tower into a rental building — a common strategy to get vacant condo units on the plus side of the ledger.
“A cat cannot become a dog,” said a woman involved in the Oro sales effort. “It’s a condominium building and it will always be a condominium building.”
The move to cut prices follows other efforts by developers to garner attention in a down market. Last month, the developers of One Brooklyn Bridge Park offered new apartment buyers an Audi. And the owners of the BellTel Lofts building on Bridge Street offered mortgages for a bank-beating four percent last year, Curbed reported.