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Greenland Forest City, facing slow condo sales, replaces broker, says it won't cut prices

The Real Deal, in Greenland Forest City swaps Corcoran for Nest Seekers at 550 Vanderbilt, reported yesterday:
After selling only a handful of apartments over the past few months, Greenland Forest City Partners is switching up the marketing team at 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, the first condominium at the Pacific Park megadevelopment in Brooklyn.
The developers have replaced Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group with Nest Seekers International’s Ryan Serhant, they said Tuesday. The 278-unit building — which launched in 2015 — is 65 percent sold.
“We were interested in making a change and trying something new and fresh,” said Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, who called the split with Corcoran “amicable.” 
Note that Corcoran was not quoted regarding that amicability. I hold no brief for Corcoran, but the building is not exactly an easy sell, given the lack of actual open space--despite the hype. 

And Gilmartin said they wouldn't cut prices, because 550 Vanderbilt wasn’t your “standard fare development project” and “We’re building an entire neighborhood." 

But that doesn't necessarily compute. They cut prices--er, incentives--on market-rate rentals at 461 Dean. That doesn't lower the sticker price, but does make it cheaper. If they don't lower the selling price, maybe they have to add perks, like a free Audi.

The numbers

The Real Deal reported:
Between June 2015 and June 2016, Greenland Forest City — a partnership between Forest City Ratner and Greenland USA — sold 140 condos at 550 Vanderbilt. But over six months that followed, they sold just 27.
Well, first, a decent number of initial sales were likely to international (Chinese) buyers, given marketing. But I'm never sure such numbers are solid, given the experience with KPMG's Atlantic Yards market study, which was full of dubious statistics.

Also, it's interesting that, among the 100-plus units for sale, the value exceeds $200 million, which is more than half the value of the building. In other words, many of the biggest, most expensive units have yet to sell.

The hype

“What’s great now is that people can actually see the building,” Serhant told the Real Deal. “This is the first opportunity to live inside a 8-acre park — that’s what Pacific Park is. Green space surrounds these buildings." 

That's time travel. Well, there is interim open space under construction, but it's fractional. The full eight acres won't be done until at least 2025.

Here's what an adjoining space looked like in June.

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