By Sarah Trefethen
Things may be looking up at One Madison Park, a poster child of the recession’s over-inflated market.
Ziel Feldman, founder and managing principal of HFZ Capital Group, bought the 47-story building in partnership with Related Companies in a bankruptcy auction last year.
The property emerged from bankruptcy this month and the last of its debts have been resolved, according to Feldman, who told a luncheon meeting of the Appraisal Institute Monday that renovations are being finished off and vacant units should be ready for move-in by September this year.
“Our expectations for this building are high,” Feldman said.
Prices on the Madison Square Park condos could be between $2,500 and $3,000 per foot, he said. “We know that buildings for sale on parks in Manhattan add 15 to 20 percent more value.”
Within two years, he said, the building’s lobby will be moved from 23rd to 22nd Street.
HFZ and Related bought up the building’s debt in advance of the auction, Feldmen said — debt that totaled more than the value of the building which, he said, had fallen victim to “every possible thing that could go wrong,” from a market collapse to a partner dispute.
And that’s just the kind of trouble Feldman, a former lawyer, says he looks for in an investment.
At a time when enthusiastic investors are driving up the sales price of Manhattan buildings, he said, “we look for where we can add value because of complexity.”
HFZ’s other current projects include the Setai, at 40 Broad Street; 303 East 51st Street, the site of a deadly 2008 crane collapse, and a possible condo and 5-star hotel development on West 40th Street at Bryant Park.
Sales resumed at the Setai, an office-to-condo conversion that fell victim to the 2008 downturn, last summer.
Units in the building have been selling for an average of $950-$960 per foot, Feldman said, and the remaining units are mainly penthouses priced at $1,200 per foot.
“Almost every purchaser is an investor,” he said, adding later, “the Setai name appeals to a lot of South Americans, Latin Americans and even some Europeans.”
At 303 East 51st Street, plans are to build a 32-story tower above a seven-story base, with an amenities package that includes a swimming pool, saunas and garage.
“Our building will have an amenity package that doesn’t exist on Second Avenue,” said Feldman, who expects the units to sell in the range of $1,600 per foot.
HFZ is also considering hotel construction at a parking lot it owns on Bryant Park, Feldman said. HFZ purchased the property — still listed for sale with Eastern Consolidated — from another developer who also planned a hotel / condo.
The building under consideration would be 32 stories, with 15 floors of hotel, Feldman said, though an all-hotel development would also be possible on the site.
“In the past, you needed condo income in order to building something … today, a 5-star hotel comes at a better premium,” he said.