The Continental in Midtown West Fills Up

The Continental—a 5The Continental3-story building on 32nd Street and Sixth Avenue—announced today that it is all sold out. That’s right, the building that lingered in construction for two years and underwent a name change filled up in less than a year. Call it the success story of the week, and good news for the high-priced, low inventoried rental market.

The Continental is something of an unlikely success story. Originally called Tower 111, developers broke ground on the Midtown apartment building in early 2009. But bureaucracy and construction issues kept the opening date in perpetual delay. Certain market insiders had written the building off, but by October 2010 it was announced that the building—now called the Continental—would open in February of 2011.

And the apartments flew off the shelf, so to speak. By April, 50% of the building had been leased, and by July that number had grown to 85%. Prices had increased as well. Originally rent ranged from $2,550 to $6,100, but by July the remaining apartments ranged from $3,300 to $10,000.

Perhaps wary of slow sales, the developers loaded the Continental with amenities. The building near Penn Station is blessed with, among other things, a gym and yoga studio, a “cardio center,” a residents’ lounge, a landscaped terrace, and something called the Continental Club and Spa.

But the firm in charge of marketing the building, Citi Habitats Marketing Group, say the primary draw are the city views. The president of new development at Citi Habitats said in a statement that “what really ‘wows’ residents are the sweeping, open skyline views that many apartments offer. It’s rare to hav

Whatever the reason for it was, the rapid-fire sell is good news for the rental market. If people are willing to snatch up apartments hot off the market, landlords will be more willing to take risks with new buildings. New development will help with the shortage of apartments for rent in Manhattan, which could counter the very high lease rates that New Yorkers currently have to contend with.