Skip to main content

Toren sales figures illustrate yet another example of KPMG's lies about condo sales (bonus: joke about LeBron James moving in cited as rumor)

KPMG's Atlantic Yards market study, conducted on request of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and dated August 31, is supposed to back up the assertion that Atlantic Yards might be completed in the announced ten years, rather than, as then-ESDC CEO Marisa Lago said in April, "decades."

But it doesn't.

I've written before about KPMG's lies about sales figures at Richard Meier's On Prospect Park and the Oro condos. (The Empire State Development Corporation calls the latter lie "trivial" as a legal matter.)

Now let's take a look at the figures regarding the Toren condos. KPMG reported (see graphic above) that it had been 98% pre-leased/sold.

However, the New York Times reports today, in a "Square Feet" interview with developer Donald A. Capoccia, that the 240-unit building is 55% sold:
We launched this project in May 2008 and probably sold about a third of the building up to September. Then we had a hiatus. The building was completed in March 2010, and we’ve basically gotten up to a point where we’re now just about 55 percent sold, and we’re moving pretty quickly toward 60 percent. We’ve done 20 contracts in the last 12 days, and that’s just gangbusters!

We’re hoping — with our fingers crossed — that we could be at 180 units sold by the end of this year, which is just about what we need to get square with the bank, in terms of the repayment of the construction financing.
How the LeBron James rumor spreads

There's an illuminating exchange in the Q&A with Capoccia that plants the idea that Cleveland Cavaliers superstar is considering the Toren should he choose to come to play for the Nets:
Q Have prices come down much from two years ago?

A Prices are within 5 to 10 percent of our original numbers. Our lowest-priced unit is $295,000 for a studio, and the prices range up to $1.65 million for a three-bedroom three-bathroom penthouse of about 2,000 square feet. The premier apartment is what I call the LeBron James pad.

Q Has he looked at that unit?

A I heard he did, but I don’t have confirmation of that.
What's the source? A joke, most likely.

The only mention I could find was a post from July 2008 on StreetEasy by a user going by the handle Junkman (aka Karl Junkersfeld) who has bought in the Toren and is also a contributor to the Brooklyn Heights Blog:
(For those of you who are basketball fans, Lebron is rumored to be looking at Toren penthouse for 2010. With Barclays Center down the street it would make a perfect coupling.) :>)
Well, there was no chance the Barclays Center would open in 2010 at the time--the current bet is 2012--and the emoticons were supposed to be a signal.

After some posters on StreetEasy raised questions and criticized him as a shill, Junkman responded:
Obviously, anyone with a bit of common sense knows that the Lebron statement was a joke. Hello, a joke. The chances of him coming to Brooklyn are slim and the chances of him coming to the Toren is non-existent. If by some chance Lebron was to come to the Nets, Trump with be his first visit. I tried to inject a sense of humor that you, apparently took seriously. To call my attempt at humor, rumor mongering, is absurd.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

So, Forest City has some property subject to the future Gowanus rezoning

Writing yesterday, MAP: Who Owns All the Property Along the Gowanus Canal, DNAinfo's Leslie Albrecht lays out the positioning of various real estate players along the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site:
As the city considers whether to rezone Gowanus and, perhaps, morph the gritty low-rise industrial area into a hot new neighborhood of residential towers (albeit at a fraction of the height of Manhattan's supertall buildings), DNAinfo reviewed property records along the canal to find out who stands to benefit most from the changes.
Investors have poured at least $440 million into buying land on the polluted waterway and more than a third of the properties have changed hands in the past decade, according to an examination of records for the nearly 130 properties along the 1.8-mile canal. While the single largest landowner is developer Property Markets Group, other landowners include Kushner Companies, Alloy Development, Two Trees, and Forest City New York.

Forest City's plans unc…

At 550 Vanderbilt, big chunk of apartments pitched to Chinese buyers as "international units"

One key to sales at the 550 Vanderbilt condo is the connection to China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holdings.

It's the parent of Greenland USA, which as part of Greenland Forest City Partners owns 70% of Pacific Park (except 461 Dean and the arena).

And sales in China may help explain how the developer was able to claim early momentum.
"Since 550 Vanderbilt launched pre-sales in June [2015], more than 80 residences have gone into contract, representing over 30% of the building’s 278 total residences," the developer said in a 9/25/15 press release announcing the opening of a sales gallery in Brooklyn. "The strong response from the marketplace indicates the high level of demand for well-designed new luxury homes in Brooklyn..."

Maybe. Or maybe it just meant a decent initial pipeline to Chinese buyers.

As lawyer Jay Neveloff, who represents Forest City, told the Real Deal in 2015, a project involving a Chinese firm "creates a huge market for…