(New York) — The Sheffield condominiums, located on West 57th Street, has maintained a reputation for being one of the biggest real estate failures in the history of New York City. However, despite its infamous reputation for controversy, money problems and an onset of other real estate disasters, the building is making a well-deserved comeback. Aside from its troubled beginning, the rental-to-condo conversion has been on an upswing. The success of the building and the features inside are finally starting to overshadow the previously negative notoriety of the building, as the Sheffield begins its road to recovery.
The Sheffield has a long and highly publicized history, one that very few real estate properties in New York have encountered. The over 50 story tower underwent an extensive condo conversion that began back in 2005. The property was bought by developer Kent Swig and his partners for $418 million. The investors set a record for paying the highest price in history for a New York apartment building, but the investment never paid off for the investors.
When the conversion process began, there were an array of issues that plagued the renovations; upset rental tenants, legal issues between partners and issues with funding for the project all served as obstacles. The problems eventually overshadowed the conversion of the Sheffield so much that the lender foreclosed on the property and auctioned off the building for a cool $120 million.
The new owners of the troubled Midtown property were Fortress Investment Group and Rose Associates. One of the first initiatives by Fortress and Rose was to redo the amenities inside the Sheffield. Building amenities include a soon to be opened rooftop, indoor pool with view of Central Park and the New York Harbor. In addition to completely updated interiors, a playroom for kids, residents of the new Sheffield can also enjoy a state-of-the art gym and full service spa.
The work of Fortress and Rose has shown to pay off; of the 580 condos in the tower, 78% have sold, and with more updates like the interior pool, set to be revealed for residents, the developers can only hope that these numbers increase. The Sheffield still has some ground to cover before it can once again hold the same appeal it did when it sold as the most expensive apartment building in all of New York. Fortunately, Fortress and Rose seem set on helping the Sheffield live up to its potential and overshadow its history of complications.
First Published: CRAINS