185 York Street Buyers in Limbo

Front of the building (courtesy 185york.com)

Front of the building (courtesy 185york.com)

Rear of the building (courtesy 185york.com)

Rear of the building (courtesy 185york.com)

A buyer of a condo unit at 185 York Street reports that the owners have been waiting since mid-2012 to move into the building. The building is being marketed as “City View Condominiums.” The Certificate of Occupancy has not been issued yet, according to the NYC Department of Buildings, which prohibits anyone from occupying the building.

A Brownstoner post from February 2013, almost two years ago, says that at that time, “a broker here tells us that they are going through the last of the inspections and anticipate closings to begin in February or March”. Obviously there are still delays. The buyer suggests to us that the “building sponsor seems to be deliberately holding up the closing of the building. Our only conclusion is that the sponsor under-priced the units, hopes that we will all lose patience and cancel our contracts.” When the 16 unit building went on the market in April 2012, the units ranged from $375,000 for a 631-square-foot one-bedroom to $845,000 for a 1,193-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath duplex.

According to StreetEasy, 15 of the units were listed for sale until December 29, 2014. Does anyone have updated status for the buyers of this building?

Here’s the note we received from a prospective buyer:

Just wanted to let you and your newspaper know that I am one of the prospective purchasers of a unit at 185 York Street in Vinegar Hill.

Along with all the other eager prospective purchasers, we signed a contract for our unit in the building, which was essentially completed, in mid-2012. Since then, in the intervening 2 1/2 years, we have been starved of information about what is going on and what information we have been given has been incorrect or misleading. The contract holders have nee renting temporary accommodation in various parts of the city to ‘bridge’ the time awaiting the issue of a Certificate of Occupancy.

The building sponsor seems to be deliberately holding up the closing of the building and we are unsure why this would be but it is causing distress to the prospective occupants. Our only conclusion is that the sponsor under-priced the units, hopes that we will all lose patience and cancel our contracts, so the units can be re-listed. This is of course only a supposition and we have no evidence that this is the case but we can come to no better conclusion at this point.

We have contacted the Attorney General’s Office, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, the Local NYC Councilor, The DoB Brooklyn Borough Commissioner.

We are looking for any means to get our plight out into the public domain to try to speed up the long-delayed closing.

I think this puts a slightly different light on the ‘rosy’ picture of Vinegar Hill painted in the NY Times article.

{185 York Street Buyers Still Waiting to Move In, 13Feb2013}
{StreetEasy listing}

6 Comment

  • Similar situation happened to me with 99 Gold – they ended up going rental. I found out about it not by being contacted by the building but through dumbonyc.com. So stay on top of them. I disagree that this should dampen the view on the area as reported by the times – these are the risks we take when buying into new construction or conversion. Could happen anywhere.

  • We’ve heard about this place. Turns out the seller was happy to unload the units (which needed a lot of work) back in 2012 when prices were falling. Because the seller didn’t fix anything, there was no Certificate of Occupancy issued before the market turned. Thats when the seller decided to delay anything that would risk passing a Certificate of Occupancy. With a CO, the seller is forced to close at the agreed prices. But by delaying work, the seller can blame the city for not issuing a CO. Its worked, and the seller has forced several buyers out of contract. The seller is willing to wait another year or two to get a few more resales in.

  • The building was finished and they told us when we signed the contract in May 2012 that we were going to close by the end of July 2012 the latest. They flat out lied to our faces. Every month after they kept saying we would close shortly, in a matter of weeks. Even the selling broker Phil Henn at Corcoran was telling us these lies. Was he just relaying info for the sponsor or was he in on the lie? We still don’t know however he has been waiting for thousands of dollars in commissions for almost 3 yrs so I am sure he is not at all pleased with this situation either.

  • 185 York’s Sponsor is Micheal Mchugh CEO of Continental Home Loan
    The Developer behind the delay is George Georgiadis

  • Now we hear that Phil Henn our uncommunicative Corcoran broker has ‘flown the coop’ to another realtor – Town. Neither Corcoran nor Henn thought to mention this to us. Hey, we are only the purchasers.
    So, we had a name to contact before and if, in the unlikely event, he ever responded, it was with prevarications and outright lies. Now, we don’t even know who the new realtor is and getting anything out of the sponsor seems to be impossible.
    This is getting to be a scandal and it is difficult to imagine how a city with a ‘housing problem’ can permit this sort of thing to continue. A complaint to the Attorney General got an “…I feel your pain but we are not going to act” response.

    • I think the broker was advised by a lawyer to be mum about the deal sometime in 2014, after it became clear that the developer was foot-dragging. His moving to TOWN is not something too be concerned about, he will probably be able to take his listings there or he may have to split this commission with Corcoran.