Poor Eloise: The Plaza takes it on the chin. Why?

Yesterday’s New York Times belatedly discovered that re-sale prices at the storied Plaza Hotel have plunged.

The newspaper said that the last 11 owners to sell their luxury condos at the Plaza Hotel sold them at a loss, including the owner of Apartment 409, which sold for $8.5 million less than it cost 16 months before.  Reported the Times:

According to data tracked by Streeteasy.com, Earl McEvoy, a mutual fund manager who paid $4.79 million for an apartment in October 2007, sold it last summer for $4 million. Guy Wildenstein, president of the Wildenstein & Company gallery on the Upper East Side and owner of a large private art collection, sold Apartment 409, and another unit he bought in August 2008 for $9.6 million went for $6 million 15 months later.

Then there was Oscar S. Schafer, a managing partner at the hedge fund O.S.S. Capital Management, who took a hit on No. 1709. He bought the three-bedroom unit for $14.6 million in May 2008 and sold it for $8.5 million in July 2009. And 9 of the 28 apartments in the building on the market have slashed their asking prices.

While its true that the Plaza has had its share of unhappy original buyers – I well remember the tale of a woman locked in a closet who wasn’t helped for an eternity – and that asking prices were improbably high, owners trying to unload their condos are hardly alone in their disappointment.

The article glosses over the collapse of the housing market in the New York City and the U.S. as the reporter focuses her attention on the prices.  In fact, only one of the re-sales cited suffered a remarkable decrease.

Notice the dates in the boldface material.  Each apartment mentioned was purchased prior to the Lehman Brothers debacle on Sept. 15, 2008.  Each apartment found a new buyer long afterward.

I’m not saying that the early apartment buyers didn’t make a bad investment.  Many buyers in this market wish they had waited.

What I’m saying is that I’m sure Eloise would be as disappointed as I am in the lopsided coverage the hotel received.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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