By Al Barbarino
With online shopping and remote work stations, members of the Corcoran Sunshine marketing team in charge of the 41-story condominium building at 515 East 72nd Street say there aren’t a whole lot of reasons for residents to leave the property.
Thanks to the sweetened amenity package, completed along with the full renovation of the building in September of last year, there’s something in the building to keep every member of the family busy.
It has brought a “surge in buyers” with “diverse interests,” said Elaine Diratz, managing director at Corcoran Sunshine, who last week announced sales of over $59 million over the past 90 days, with units selling in the range of $633,000 to $4.8 million.
It’s finally the success story developer, River Terrace LLC, has been looking for. Since the building made its first appearance as Miraval Living, the developer has jumped through a series of hoops over the past five years to bring the porperty, originally a rental property, to its present state.
Previous tenants were moved out and the building was retrofitted with a new, eco-friendly design. An upper tower was built, consisting of floors 32 through 40, and a new spa manager was brought in to reinvigorate the building’s image of healthy, relaxed living.
In October 2010, River Terrace gave Miraval — a Tuscon-based spa originally charged with designing and managing the building’s spa and amenities — the boot because, “they weren’t finishing the spa… classes weren’t starting and residents wanted to know why,” Diratz said.
After several months of interviews, the developer and the Corcoran Sunshine team brought in New York-based American Leisure, which operates recreation and spa facilities in developments across the US for owners that include Tishman Speyer and the Trump Organization.
“They really know how to cater to a high-end clientele, and that’s what this building needed,” Diratz said of American Leisure, which now runs the day-to-day amenity and spa operations.
Free muffins and coffee are served in a quaint café area in the morning. There’s a full-service gym; a 56-foot indoor swimming pool; a half-acre garden with a grassy field and a yoga platform; a billiards room; a Jodi’s Gym for kids; an art studio; and a full-service spa, offering everything from massages to seaweed wraps.
“We offer a lifestyle and level of services that can’t be matched,” said Harlan Goldberg, the building’s sales director, who lives in the neighborhood, noting that the building is nestled on a rare tree-lined cul-de-sac on the water’s edge in a quiet and peaceful area.
It’s rare to have a third party in charge of amenities, much less a package of this scope and size, Goldberg said, calling it the ideal arrangement because it creates a clear line of demarcation between the building staff and amenity staff’s duties.
Corcoran Sunshine began moving residents into the building’s 330 renovated units, 84 percent of which feature outdoor space and East River and city views, about three years ago, Diratz said.
The recent uptick in interest in the building follows a rebirth in the city’s real estate market, amid a dearth of properties in the area that are as competitively priced, Goldberg said.
“The conversations are a lot different than they were in the past,” he said. “People are coming in closer to the asking price than ever before.”
Roughly 65 percent of the 330 units in the building have been sold, although everything from studios to four bedrooms, to the penthouse, are still available, with prices ranging from $699,000 to $12.325 million for the top floor penthouse — which will be designed to the buyer’s specifications and will include up to five bedrooms.
The building is within walking distance to Central Park, Museum Mile and Madison Ave. The 20,000 s/f private park was designed by H.M. White Architects and features an elevated yoga platform; the Fitness Center features a squash court, basketball hoop and a climbing wall, in addition to exercise equipment, a hot tub, Jacuzzi, steam rooms and saunas; the spa features five treatments rooms, offering massages, facials and nail care.
Jodi’s Gym provides a world of experiences in a colorful indoor gym for young residents. They host “Mommy and Me” classes, pre-school gymnastics, tumbling and a special summer program.
Hotel-style, 24-hour services include doormen, onsite valet garage, porters, housekeeping and a concierge.
*this article appeared in the June 13, 2012 print edition of Real Estate Weekly