In a New York minute

Amenities, location sell over 300 condos in 300 days at the New York, by American Invsco

The New YorkMany developers are thrilled if they can sell one home a week and would consider two or three in that span a bonanza. So it’s understandable that American Invsco is touting its sales figures in the latest marketing slogan for the New York: Over 300 homes in 300 days.

The condo conversion giant, www.americaninvsco.net, has sold more than half of the 594 units at the New York, a 48-story luxury highrise at 3660 N. Lake Shore Drive, as the building is converted to condominium ownership. What’s more, it has sold them at a pace of well over a unit a day, weathering the traditionally slow holiday season and the economic uncertainty following Sept. 11.

“We’ve been selling pretty evenly,” says sales manager Chris Philips. “One-bedrooms and studios are popular because of their price point, but we also have some combinations that have sold for more than $1 million by the time they’re done. It’s nice because the building appeals to a wide diversity of people and incomes.”

The project has drawn buyers from the immediate neighborhood as well as renters from the Gold Coast, who realize they can pay less on a monthly basis by buying in Lakeview. After a successful tenants’ program nearly a year ago, the New York continues to draw tenants from within the building too, according to Philips.

“We’re still selling to two to six residents a month,” Philips says. “It’s pretty amazing that all those people still trickle through because they’ve been looking, and they decide they don’t like any place else.”

Why can’t they find anything comparable to the New York?

For starters, the full-amenity highrise is only 13 years old. Tenants have been able to take it for a long test drive and know the quality of the building. They say they are buying a proven product in a market where many condos exist only on paper.

Another factor in strong sales has been near immediate delivery of units.

“We build out the units in about two weeks, and then buyers can move in,” says Art Bettuzzi, project manager for American Invsco. “If someone walks in today and says I will take the unit ‘as is,’ and has cash, I can close tomorrow.”

Because the building is so new, little work is needed, but Invsco is providing each condo with new carpet, wooden baseboard, new ceramic kitchen floors, new cabinet doors in kitchens and baths, new microwaves and fresh paint. The process takes two weeks compared to delivery times of two years or more on many new highrises.

“One of the ways I like to position ourselves is to say to buyers, it’s fine to buy in a building that’s two or three years out, but you have to live somewhere in the meantime,” Bettuzzi says. “They can live here and sell this when the other unit’s ready.”

The spectacular lake views from the building’s trademark jutting balconies and the location, east of Wrigley Field, have also been draws, Bettuzzi says.

“Lakeview is such a hot area, and being this close to the lake, literally a block away – you just walk under the Drive and you’re there – is incredible,” Bettuzzi says. “We have eight or 10 tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course and baseball fields all across the street. I think that it gives the homeowner all the best that Chicago has to offer without being right in the Loop or downtown. It’s a little quieter but just a short distance from the action.”

And Broadway, the closest major street, adds another level of convenience, Philips says.

“People like the neighborhood because it feels like a real neighborhood, with a sense of community that you don’t necessarily get in places like the South Loop or River North,” Philips says. “Our main artery here is Broadway, and you can get just about anything you need there – Mexican, Asian or Italian food. There’s a Jewel, Walgreens, Starbucks, Gap…”

The building’s unusual design, with east-west hallways canted at 45-degree angles, optimizes views of all that activity, not to mention the lake, for residents.

“The views from these homes are truly breathtaking,” says Nicholas V. Gouletas, president of sales and field operations for American Invsco. “Add to this the great services provided in the building, and residents may not want to walk out their door.”

Indeed, they almost don’t have to leave the building. The New York has a 24-hour doorman, 24-hour maintenance, on-site management, a convenience store, a health club, an indoor pool, a dry cleaning drop off service, a package service, a sun deck, a party room, a bike room and indoor heated parking.

The mix of units includes studios priced from the $140s and one-bedroom condos ranging from the $160s to the $250s. Most two-bedrooms range from the $290s to the $390s, and include two bathrooms. Deeded parking spots start around $29,000 and go up to the mid $40s depending on the space.

Built in 1987, the New York is, according to Philips, the newest highrise to be completed north of Diversey, a fact that has been drawing condo shoppers from all over the north lakefront.

“The thing that’s appealing in this area is that people are out looking at other highrises in the area, and there’s nothing new here,” Philips says. “You can come here and get all new finishes, hallways, elevators, a renovated lobby and a building that’s very new compared to everything around it. We’re lucky because there’s not a lot of product that can be delivered in that time frame that’s as new as our product.”

American Invsco may be offering an even newer product, however, as sales wind down at the New York. The original planned development for the 3.27-acre site called for a second tower and a group of townhouses. Bettuzzi says Invsco ultimately would like to fulfill the original plan, though for now the company will focus on selling the existing units.

The New York Private Residences sales center is open on the second floor of the building, at 3660 N. Lake Shore Drive, daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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