There’s some news today about the Madison-Jackson, the former P.S. 12 building that was recently converted to condos. We’re told by Michael Bolla, who teamed up with Chinatown banker Thomas Sung to develop and market the building, that apartment sales have been temporarily put on hold. The reason? Sung, who bought the property at auction for scarcely more than a half million dollars three decades ago, is fielding multiple lucrative offers from potential buyers who want to purchase the entire building.
Bolla said there has been “overwhelming demand” from investors due in large part to the looming approval of the Seward Park redevelopment plan, a large mixed-use project on nine city parcels along Delancey Street. The project has apparently prompted real estate developers to seize opportunities on the LES before prices become even more inflated. Bolla said he is hopeful sales will resume soon after a deal is finalized.
Sales only got underway at 371 Madison Street last month. The Madison-Jackson has some high-end features, such as an indoor swimming pool. But the finishings were kept pretty modest and the prices set at around $500,000-$1,000,000. Prospective investors could stay the course, turn the building into a very high end development or convert the Madison-Jackson to rentals.
Since last spring, Bolla has made quite an impression on the Lower East Side. In several high profile newspaper stories, he put the word out that the building offered an opportunity to lure Orthodox Jews back to the Lower East Side. He held a “Shabbaton,” (a weekend immersion in Jewish culture) at the building. And he talked about reopening a Judaica store on Essex Street.
Bolla declined to discuss who the interested parties are until the Sung family finalizes a deal. We understand, however, that the offers could result in a very substantial return for Mr. Sung, even after factoring in the Madison-Jackson’s renovation costs.