Sales of luxury apartments in the majestic and phallic Williamsburgh Savings Bank building are so sluggish that the owner will rent the unsold units until the economy improves — the latest proof that the real-estate market has gone to hell in a rent basket.
Brooklyn’s tallest building, once predominantly filled with dental offices and now a 190-unit tower called “One Hanson Place,” earlier this year was proudly boasting of an upper-floor apartment with wraparound views of the New York skyline that cost $6 million, but is now trying to fill the last 19 domiciles with rent ranging from $3,400 to $4,800 per month, according to the Stribling Properties Web site.
“It’s not a reflection of the building or the developer,” said Matthew Giordano, a director of sales in Massey Knakal. “There’s just such a dramatic swing back in the other direction after people were buying up everything.”
Developers are more likely to rent empty condos rather than slash prices, because a steep sale price discount can induce potential buyers to hold out for even more drastic cuts, Giordano told The Brooklyn Paper.
“Instead of that, they can rent them out and maybe break even until the market strengthens,” Giordano said.
The slackening demand in condo sales forced other high-end projects in Brooklyn to temporarily hawk their unoccupied residences to renters as a way to generate some income, such as the Northside Piers complex in Williamsburg.
The Dermot Company, which converted most of the building into 190 apartments (some dentists still have their headquarters in the 34-story tower), did not respond to request for comment.
The Web site Brownstoner broke the story on Monday.