Joe Korff tries another way to sell out the Solaria

After the embarrassing auction of 54 condos of the Riverdale’s Solaria in the Bronx last November, Joe Korff and his ARC Development are trying a tactic they have dubbed “Spring Bid and Buy.”

Huh?  If a double meaning is meant, the grammar is elusive.  And if Korff thinks the idea will work better than simply lowering prices, he’s whistling Dixie.

More than half the building reportedly still is empty.  A total of 35 apartments in the sleek glass tower on Henry Hudson Parkway remain on the market, according to the Riverdale Press.  Only 10 of the development’s 64 units had found buyers prior to the auction.

Poor Mr. Korff seems to think that an inconveniently situated development ought to be priced competitively with other New York City projects.  Continue reading

Riverdale’s Solaria development offers news

Although I’m certainly on the Solaria’s blacklist after continually writing truthfully about the dismal auction of 54 condos last November, I nonetheless was the recipient today of an e-mail blast to real estate brokers.

With a photo of developer Joseph Korff in front of the sleek building in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, the press release proclaims: “SOLARIA IS FHA APPROVED.”  It goes on to say: Continue reading

Times ‘year-ender’ views the Solaria uncritically

Although I’ve been quoted before, I was pretty pleased when a reporter from the New York Times called the other day to ask for details about the auction of 54 units of Riverdale’s Solaria development.

Naturally, I was disappointed when I unearthed the piece, buried as it was in the “New York” section of yesterday’s newspaper, and saw no mention of me. Those are the breaks, I know, from my long experience in journalism and public education.

That said, I was amazed that the publication omitted any sign of skepticism when it reported that 21 of the condos were sold at the Nov. 22 auction. Covering the bases, the reporter quoted the auction company (as I have in previous posts) as if REDC were a reliable source (as I have not). In addition, no mention was made of the abysmally low bids that were made. Continue reading

Shocking news from the Solaria. Kidding.

Anyone who has followed the Solaria saga will hardly be surprised by the email I just received:

So, yes, Joseph Korff continues to peddle his unsold units. Says he:

“We look forward to selling and closing on our remaining homes with the next couple of months.”

I’ll bet!

The hyperbole in the release is a bit hard to take. Continue reading

Developments near the Solaria seem unaffected

Developers of nearby luxury apartments on the market contend that the Solaria situation is not representative of the Riverdale market as a whole, the Riverdale Press reports today.

“People are pointing to the auction and saying the market is in bad shape because of the results of the auction,” said Anne Shahmoon, sales associate at the Shirley Woods. Continue reading

Solaria auction leaves some loose ends and claims

The press release just arrived, two days later than promised, and here it is verbatim (don’t worry, it’s not very long):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REDC HOLDS NEW YORK CITY’S FIRST SUCCESSFUL

HIGH-RISE AUCTION FOR SOLARIA CONDOMINIUM

Close to 1,800 Pre-Registered and 550 in Attendance

New York, NY – November 23, 2009 – Real Estate Disposition, LLC (REDC), the nation’s largest real estate auction firm, conducted the first successful NYC luxury high-rise auction for the Solaria condominium on November 22, 2009, with the developer receiving bids and contracts on all homes.

“This auction was an incredible success,” said Robert Friedman, Chairman of REDC. “The buyers of these luxury condominiums got some amazing deals and the developer was able to sell many homes in just a few hours. We already have more than 21 contracts, with over $17 million in proceeds from auction day, and we expect to sell the building out over the next month in our post-auction effort.  We will announce the final sold amount once the program is complete. ” Continue reading

In Long Island City, operators are standing by

View of Manhattan from LHaus in Long Island City

This is the view from the condo that my clients hope to buy.

Kicking and almost screaming, I was dragged to Long Island City the other day by clients who became discouraged in their search for an apartment in Manhattan with the space and carrying costs that they were willing to spend.

I was certain they would hate the area, and I was so wrong.

We first visited a sort of cheesy new development on a block of active light industry, and the condo there had aspects that intrigued my clients.  Then we went to one called L haus at the foot of the Polaski bridge. Continue reading