September 26, 2018

Interest high in auction of Village townhouse

At the third of four inspections scheduled of a mixed-use townhouse in Greenwich Village the other day, an estimated 25-30 parties roamed the premises of the five-story Romanesque building.  Virtually all of the the prospective buyers gave me the impression of having serious interest.

A recent court order effectively required a rush auction of the 25-foot-wide property at 3 E. 10th St. as a result of a feud between two brothers.

Constructed in 1900, the 8,825-sf mansion–which has a rear garden and a basement that now includes offices in addition to mechanical systems–features some exposed-brick walls, 12 wood-burning fireplaces and a distinctive bay window consistent with two other townhouses immediately to the east.

The building has been unfortunately carved up, now configured as a 12-unit rental that includes four medical offices, four studios and four one-bedroom apartments.  Two of the apartments are rent stabilized, and there is one rent-controlled unit.

At best, the condition of the spaces ranges from good (for a basement studio used by a masseur) to fair for a couple of the apartments and generally poor for the studios.  There is no elevator, but the stairways are graced with original woodwork such as the molding, handrails and intricate newels.

Once priced at $9.95 million, the dwelling goes to auction (ninth item in my linked post) with a minimum bid of $3.5 million.  The reserve price is undisclosed, but Misha Haghani, a principal of Paramount Realty USA, which is selling the place, says he is “pretty confident that it will be sold.”

Based on the intensity of the prospective bidders who examined the building, jotting notes and whispering to others in their parties, I’d say he has good reason for his cautious optimism.

The question doesn’t seem to be whether it will be sold but whether the final price will be $7 million, $8 million or more.  A 7 percent buyer’s premium has to be paid as well, and, yes, broker representation is permitted.

To bid at the event, participants must submit a $350,000 check.  The winning bidder must follow with a payment equal to 10 percent of the difference between $3.5 million and the sold price.  Moreover, the contract includes a “time is of the essence” clause mandating a closing within 60 days.  You’ll find more details on Paramount’s Web site, where a due diligence package can be purchased for $50.

The auction is to take place on Oct. 21 at a place and time that, Paramount says, is yet to be determined.

–Malcolm Carter