The new Ritz-Carlton condominium complex in North Hills has found buyers or prospective buyers for roughly 100 of its first 124 units, at prices up to $5.9 million, developers said Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Located between the Long Island Expressway and the Northern State Parkway, the long-delayed, $300 million project includes the 124 condominiums and a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse in its first phase of construction. Uniondale-based developer RXR Realty is seeking approval for another 120 units.
The homes range from 1,500-square-foot two-bedroom units selling for $1.2 million to four-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot units priced at $5.9 million. Buyers have closed on eight units and signed contracts for 86, and more contracts are out for signatures, according to the developer.
Scott Rechler, chairman and chief executive of RXR, said the complex has generated strong interest among retirees — which he expected — but he has been surprised by how many young professionals and families are purchasing units, including one young man who spray-painted the words “will you marry me?” on the wall of his new condo when he proposed to his now-fiancee.
“We’ve far exceeded our forecasts of sales pace,” Rechler said in an interview. “We already have a list going for our second phase.”
The complex marks a departure from the typical Long Island condominium. Throughout the Island, not including the East End, condos sold for a median price of $247,000 in the first three months of 2016, up less than 1 percent from a year earlier, according to a recent report by the brokerage Douglas Elliman and the appraisal firm Miller Samuel. Nearly 800 condominiums sold in the first quarter, a year-over-year increase of 22 percent, the report showed.
The Ritz-Carlton “is a different level of luxury for Long Island multifamily developments and from my perspective obviously it’s the top end of the market line, but I have no doubt in that area, with that builder, it will fill up very quickly,” said Mitchell Pally, chief executive of the Long Island Builders Institute, a trade group.
More than 80 percent of buyers live within 15 miles of the complex, said Patricia Petersen, chief executive of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, which is handling sales.
“It’s been people who are downsizing, some of them have apartments in the city, some of them have places in Florida or Arizona, but they still belong to clubs here, they still have family here, grandchildren,” Petersen said. “They don’t want to deal with any of the maintenance that has to do with owning a big house on a big piece of property.”
The project has been in the works since 2007, but the 2007-2009 recession delayed it.
The complex received approval from North Hills to include 60 “rent-to-own” units — in part because lenders wanted it to have that option — but sales have been strong enough that none of the units will be rented, Rechler said. The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency granted it sales tax breaks of up to $2.5 million and a mortgage recording tax break of up to $1 million.
In surveys, buyers say the luxury-hotel lifestyle is the primary attraction, and location is the second most commonly cited draw, said Joe Graziose, the senior vice president at RXR who is overseeing the project.
The developer pays licensing and management fees to Ritz-Carlton, which sets standards for everything from construction to acoustics and design, according to RXR.
The clubhouse will include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a fitness center, movie theater, billiards room, lounge and bar, among other amenities. The condos all include balconies or terraces, and two parking spaces.