Steve Wiktoff paced back and forth in a conference room at his partnership’s New York City office, eager to talk about his latest endeavors, but just as eager to tackle the other 10 commitments that had come his way over the course of the first of several interviews with The Mortgage Observer.
Real estate investment firm Newcastle Realty Services purchased neighboring apartment buildings at 656 and 759 St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem for a combined $5.6 million from Colorado-based real estate firm Aimco late last year, city records posted yesterday show.
Sellers sought to unload properties before looming capital gains tax hikes as December wound down, a main reason why the fourth quarter was the strongest investment sales quarter in two and a half decades.
The firm paid $4.4 million for the six-story, 20,640-square-foot property at 656 St. Nicholas Avenue, which features 30 residential units; and $1.2 million for the building at 759 — a 5,666-square-foot, four-story building with nine units.
When the credit crisis hit and the real estate market all but collapsed, news of disgraced developers became commonplace, their tales more often than not layered with intrigue.
Take Kent Swig, who, after being divorced by his wife, filed an affidavit in May responding to a lawsuit filed by his ex-father-in-law, industry luminary Harry Macklowe, arguing that Mr. Macklowe embarked on a “vendetta” aimed at “starving” him of every last penny.
But as the downfalls of real estate tycoons like Mr. Macklowe, Shaya Boymelgreen, Bruce Eichner and Larry Gluck stack up like so many new developments across Manhattan’s skyline, analysts and the city’s landlords themselves have begun to wonder aloud if there’s a limit to how much real estate can be accumulated.
“A developer’s function is to develop property, and sometimes they develop and develop until they can’t develop anymore,” said appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm based in New York City. “Where people fell short was that the market was more powerful than them … the market is brutal, and it has no compassion.”