Kuafu Makes Big MiMA Play


Kuafu Properties, the New York-based Chinese development company, is grabbing 1 MiMA Tower, the top 13 floors of Related Companies’ MiMA at 460 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, for $260 million with the intention of turning the 151 apartments into condominium units.

The new condos, which should be hitting the market by the end of this year or early next year, will offer “something luxury—but still affordable,” Shang Dai, the chief executive officer of Kuafu, told Commercial Observer. “That’s not something you see a lot of in the market.”

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This is not MiMA’s first flirtation with condo development; when the 63-story building originally began construction in 2009, the top floors were supposed to be condos above 663 rentals. But hitting the market during the hangover of the recession in 2012, Related opted to keep the entire building rental. “One MiMA Tower is a terrific asset that will have great appeal as a condominium,” a Related spokesperson said in a prepared statement.“We saw a unique opportunity to capitalize on the value we had created in what has become one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in New York City.”

Mr. Dai would not say what prices are expected for the condos (the offering plan is being filed this week) but sources speculate that the starting price will probably be at around $1.5 million. (If this price is correct, this would mark a significant increase from when 1 MiMA first planned on going condo and studios were starting at around $700,000.)

The bottom 50 floors of the building will remain rental, where available studios start at $4,155, according to StreetEasy. One MiMA has an extremely enviable 44,000 square feet worth of amenities for residents including fitness club, swimming pool, full-sized basketball court, pet care facility and screening room to name but a few. (It’s one of the biggest amenity packages on a square foot basis of anywhere in the city.)

“We’re going to give buyers the opportunity to upgrade,” Mr. Dai said. A designer (not yet chosen) will be designing four model units, which buyers will be able to choose from. (The mix of units range from one- to four-bedrooms, with the majority being one- and two-bedroom units.) And Mr. Dai says that he expects buyers to combine units. Plus, several large penthouses are expected that will be connected to the roof.

“If you’re looking at Chinese buyers, they’re constantly looking for new product,” Mr. Dai said. “But when they see the brochures, it’s always three, four years out. But if they have a kid graduating from school timing is an issue.” And these apartments will be delivered in months, not years.

With this acquisition Kuafu’s assets have grown to over 1 million square feet of retail, residential and hotel space in New York City. Shanghai Construction Group is partnering with Kuafu on the deal, which should close sometime later this year.