THE BACCARAT HOTEL AND CONDO located at 20 West 53rd Street make its debut in what I think is a rather over-subscribed midtown mix: Starwood Capital’s hotel and condo tower has already settled on a price for its penthouse unit, supposedly asking $60 million ($8,128/sf). For $60 million, the buyer gets a duplex with 7,381 square feet interior, plus a 417-square foot balcony. The unit has five bedrooms and 5.5 baths (the master with a floating sculptural tub….cut crystal we hope!).
The sleek, black SOM-designed tower will be 46 stories and contain just 61 condominiums. The latest offering plan, filed on Thursday with the Attorney General’s office, puts the building’s total price at a hair above $523 million. The cheapest unit listed is a 932-square foot one-bedroom unit on the 23rd floor, asking just $2.26 million….although I suspect with the insanely busy first quarter these prices will be amended upwards. Residences will begin at the 18th floor, according to the building’s website, and will have ceilings of up to 14 feet. Will they offer the kind of views these buyers expect in this location?
With One 57 only 60% sold out in a market that had no competition, after almost 2 years on the market and more pre-completion press and buzz than any other building ever, and other buildings such as the MOMA Tower, 432 Park Avenue and a string of others on the way, I cannot help but think that this market in midtown may be just a wee bit over-subscribed. Yes, there is a large demand from foreign and out-of-town buyers for this location with its undeniable conveniences to the central business district, shopping heaven, culture and Central Park, but when you look at the volume of units at a price point that for most wealthy buyers is somewhat unreachable, I just wonder how many mega-millionaires are out there ready to buy these extreme-priced units, many of which are looking awfully similar. If Baccarat offers a strong list of $ 2,5 – 5 million units they will do well, but I wonder whether the bug that too many developers caught a few years ago whereby extreme luxury at extreme pricing became the focus may deliver a really bad hangover.